The Cheerleader and the Punk: What if...? - BuyTheTicketTakeTheRide (2024)

Chapter Text

The Cheerleader and the Punk: What If...

The Cheerleader and the Punk: What if...? - BuyTheTicketTakeTheRide (1)

"Hellooo?" Her ears registers the droned out word, fast followed by her eyes taking in a hand flashing in front of her field of vision, waving quite dramatically in a desperate attempt to grab her attention. "Earth to Bonnieeeee" the dragged out tone continues on which lets her know she must have zoned out for quite a while there.

Slowly breaking out of her stupor, her lashes lift, eyes zipping up to her friend, watching said hand fall as the brunette blinks at her with concerned brown eyes which gets her own to blinking then offering up a spacey, "Sorry, what?"

The cheerleader stares at her, concern etching her mahogany irises, "I said what shade?" She draws out slowly and then holds up two bottles of nail polish.

Bonnie stares at the teen confused, brow crinkling on her bronzed forehead, "There's a difference?"

The brown haired girl rolls her eyes upward in a way that suggests Bonnie is beyond hopeless. "Yes," comes the droning tone again. "One is baby blue, the other is sky blue"

The teen stares at the polish, still not seeing the difference. Why did she even agree to come over to Elena's? She should have known the Gilbert girl would pounce on her with suggestions of makeovers and mani's and pedi's and all the other girly sh*t she hated. Because despite the whole revamping she'd done to appearance, she loathes the upkeep. So to make the conversation go away she responds with, "Whichever" and instantly hears how flippant she sounds. The way Nora does about everything or the way Kai does whenever they're not talking about video games.

Her friend squints at her, looking slightly disappointed, there's also shades of hurt mixed in there.

"We're supposed to be having girls night, you look like you'd rather be having a colonic"

And before Bonnie can deny how much fun she's not having Elena tacks on, her expression taking on a somber downcast, "You're thinking about him aren't you?"

"Him?" the teen gives her friend a puzzled look and Elena sends one right back, although hers displays, 'You know exactly who I'm talking about'.

"Kai" she finally spits out as if Bonnie still doesn't get it.

"I'm not thinking about Kai, Lena"

Liar.

"Okay, so this melancholy mood of yours has nothing to do with the fact that you guys aren't talking?"

Bonnie's eyes widen in alarm. Was it that obvious Kai had been giving her the cold shoulder? Or, well, both of them had been avoiding each other technically. Ever since he had the audacity to accuse her mom of being a cheater, "You noticed that?"

The cheerleader gives her a flat look. "I would be a sh*tty best friend if I didn't"

Best friend. Were they best friends again? Sure they've been hanging out non stop since finding out Caroline was behind the dissolution of their friendship but she wasn't sure she could say they were back to bestie status again. That would take some time.

"What's going on with you two?" That concerned look registers again on her friend's pretty face.

The ex-cheerleader blows out a frustrated sigh because where to even begin?

"I made a really horrible comment about his family and he stopped talking to me" She purposely leaves off the other part of why Kai's not talking to her, the accusations he made about her mom, how she accused him of seeing what he wanted to see to feel better about his sh*tty family.

"What did you say?" Elena wants to know, brow dipping into her forehead, looking beyond surprised that Bonnie could utter a bad word about anyone, let alone something pertaining to Kai. Because as long as she's known the teen, Bonnie has always defended the emo boy, not piled onto the insults like her fellow classmates.

"That his dad's a lowlife"

The other girl winces.

"I know, horrible" Bonnie is saying, squeezing her eyes shut, her head thrown back in shame. "I shouldn't have said it" she goes on, regret heavy in her tone.

"He'll get over it," Elena sounds so sure of this, causing Bonnie to glance back up at the olive skinned girl. "All you have to do is tell him you love him and he'll forget every bad thing you've ever done. Problem solved."

Her spine stiffens, the action clearly notable because her friend lets out an amused chuckle.

"What? Don't even try to deny it" and in comes an influx of giggles, the sound grating against Bonnie's ears.

She deflates then implores after a few moments have passed. "How did you know?"

A shock of laughter leaves the cheerleader's perfectly glossed lips. "Are you kidding me? I've known since we were like twelve"

The words have her mind flashing back to the slumber party Caroline had invited them both to when she'd been trying to entice her into joining their little crew. How the blonde had been desperate in her attempt to get Bonnie to admit who her crush was. She'd never forget the way Elena had warned her with her eyes to not reveal who it was. Because the older girl had known Bonnie liking Kai, the school's pariah, that they'd make fun of her for it. And another emotion is canceling out the former, mortification. Did everyone know how she felt about Kai?

And it must register on Bonnie's face because her friend is touching the back of her hand in a comforting gesture, "Don't feel bad, he likes you too" Bonnie had kind of picked up on Elena's thinking from the implication she'd thrown out about how all would be forgiven if Bonnie had confessed her love to Kai. Now that she thinks about it, Elena had always maintained since they were kids, Kai's supposed love for her.

"He doesn't." Bonnie is shaking her head, morosely looking down at her unpainted nails. "I'm pretty sure he hates me right now"

"Please," the cheerleader scoffs. "That boy could never hate you"

Bonnie's quiet, not in the mood to argue her case on why Kai doesn't see her that way but her friend goes on, determined. "Do you honestly not see it?" She looks genuinely mystified. "It's like so obvious"

"Kai loves me" she admits and her friend looks triumphant in the fact that she's convinced Bonnie of the fact until she finishes her thought that is. "Because he feels like I'm the only one on his side. The only one loyal to him. He loves me like a sister, the way he should with Josie"

Elena opens her mouth to protest but Bonnie speaks first, not letting her get a word in, "And that's fine." a note of sereneness in her voice she doesn't feel. "Clearly we're meant to be just friends. I'm okay with that"

"Bonnie, if it was fine you wouldn't be moping around here the way you have been lately. It's 're depressing me."

Oh wow. She hadn't realized the mask she'd been wearing hadn't been convincing everybody. But then again, this girl has known her since the cradle.

A worried wrinkle etches between her brow. "Do you want me to talk to him?"

"NO!" Bonnie nearly shouts in horror.

"Not about that." the brunette clarifies, rolling her eyes at Bonnie's dramatics. "Just a little chat to get him to see he's being an ass, that you're the only one willing to put up with his sh*t."

And that gets her to grinning. "You make him sound like this terror"

But when Elena doesn't deny it, Bonnie's benevolent expression melts away. She squints her eyes at her friend, voice probing, "Do you even like Kai?"

She just assumed since Elena's never protested hanging out with Kai the way Kai always did when it came to the brunette that the teen had positive overall feelings regarding the other boy but judging by the disdainful look on Elena's face, she'd been wrong.

"I don't hate him." she punctuates the word hate. "More like I'm impartial to him" she clarifies. And when Bonnie gives her a blank look. "What?" her eyes stretch. "He's like really prickly. He's always glaring at me"

"He glares at everyone" Is Bonnie's toneless rebuttal.

"Everyone but you" her friend points out in a teasing tone but Bonnie ignores the comment, instead, pointing at the slightly darker shade of the two, "That one"

This earns her a grin, "Good choice'

Bonnie's sitting comfy, legs stretched out on her room's bay window, studying for her calculus test tomorrow when soft musical notes emit from her phone letting her know a FaceTime call is coming through. She sifts the phone off the polished wood, sees it's her friend Cleo, a girl she met a few Summers back when she'd spent a few weeks of her break in Virginia beach. Cleo had seen Kai, Jeremy and herself on the beach, lazing in the sand, effectively getting their tan on when she decided to come over to introduce herself. They'd been friends since. Good friends, not entrenching BFF status or anything, the super way she'd been with Elena before the Caroline drama, largely because they lived in different cities but good friends nonetheless. So whenever Bonnie made her way out that way, whether it was to attend one of Cleo's tennis matches(the girl seriously was a beast on the court. Like Venus and Serena type level sh*t.) or because her family needed a change in scenery from the mind numbingness that was Mystic Falls–whatever the case, whenever they'd link up, it was always good times. The girl was just good vibes, period. It was almost a guarantee you would have a blast when she was around.

Bonnie answers, a smile curling her makeup free lips. And then her eyes widen when she notes the change in her friend's appearance.

"You dyed your hair" she exclaims, shocked, eyes taking in the chocolate beauty and her honey tones tresses.

Her friend grins back, even primps a little, making Bonnie chuckle in the process, "Well, I did hear blondes do have more fun" the teen confesses in an overdone faux valley girl accent.

"I wouldn't know anything about that but if judging by how the infinite blondes are treated at my school, I'd say yes." Her friend laughs. But she's pretty sure that fun her friend spoke of was specifically reserved for blondes that bore pale skin and eyes to match.

"Do let me know your findings"

"Of course, darling" Cleo purrs, sounding like an old Hollywood starlet, her expression filled with warmth as she gets out her next thought. "So, you still coming out this weekend?" she's speaking in her regular voice again.

Bonnie did have plans of driving out to Virginia Beach, Elena in tow, to introduce her oldest friend to her newish friends but Bonnie has a paper coming up that she'd absolutely procrastinated about, the very same thing she always accused Kai of doing. And the thought of him makes her sad. How they haven't talked since the woods. Since he's accused her mom of adultery. She eventually told Elena about it. The other girl doesn't believe it either, that Abby would do such a thing. Voicing what Bonnie thought as well, that the meeting could have been work related. Kai's mistaken or maybe he's just angry about what she said about his dad and wants to get her back. When Kai wanted to be, he could be relentless with his pettiness. She's been getting through the days only because of her rekindling of friendship with Elena. The two falling back easily into their old routine of sleep overs and movie nights. When they hung out, she only thought about Kai half of the time. But on top of her paper, she has college essays to write. She doesn't think she will have time this weekend so she lets her friend know this.

The darker skinned girl looks super bummed, "Noo..you promised" she grouses, pouting quite dramatically.

"I know, I really wanted to see you and Chet" she joins in on the pout fest, jutting out her bottom lip pathetically.

"So come. f*ck school." is the whiney response her friend gives, her expression genuinely downcast. "I need you to be my support system"

"Whachu talkin' bout Willis?" Bonnie demands, mimicking one of her Grams favorite shows, however, the reference is lost on her friend. It's apparent in her screwed up expression.

"Que?" the Hawkins girl questions, co*cking her head to the side, a question on her face.

"Forget it" Bonnie lets out, shaking her head. Kai would have got it. She nearly sighs thinking how the younger boy keeps popping up in her mind. "What do you need support for?"

"Ok, so..I may be kinda sorta in love with Chet"

Bonnie's jaw hangs for at least a minute straight. She's sure the other girl can hear its creaking. "What?" she finally blurts after the shock has worn off.

"Yeah.." Cleo comments slowly, slightly cringing.

"Wait. You're serious?" Bonnie blinks then allows her curious eyes to study her friend. And then she determines Cleo was honest to God embarrassed. Which, yeah, she should be..

Her friend laughs then winces again. "I know…let me have it. I'm ready" she encourages, preparing herself for Bonnie's oncoming reprimand.

But the teen is still too shocked to properly admonish her friend. "I'm confused. When did this happen?" she gets out, shaking her head, flummoxed. Because the last she remembers Cleo was head over heels for Luka, Bonnie's God brother and couldn't see anyone else but him. But also she could barely stand Chet. At least that's the way she's always acted in the past. And vice versa even though they nearly hung out everyday. The true definition of frenemies. She and Nora could only dream to have their dynamic.

"So yeah, it kinda started this Summer." the freshly dyed blonde tells her in a begrudged tone.

"What changed this Summer?" Because Bonnie had been around for part of it, trying to get over Kai's absence, she hadn't noted anything different with the two.

"Um, hello..he got hot as f*ck. Like I almost can't look at him because he's so hot"

Ah. Yeah. Hotness will do it every time.

"Yeah, he's attractive.." Bonnie agrees albeit unwillingly, because Chet looked like he could walk runways at New York fashion week but where to even begin with the cons.. "But girl, he also wears sweater vests"

"Ugh, I know" the brown skin girl acknowledges, burying her face in her hand, clearly embarrassed.

"I mean, if you like it I love it" Bonnie tries to be supportive because seriously she can't talk. She's in love with a boy who rocks blue hair and facial piercings.

"I need you to talk me out of this" Cleo groans, nearly begs of her.

"Talk you out of what?" she giggles, finding this dramatic display her friends putting on immensely hilarious.

"Liking him" she voices, lifting her head, making eye contact with Bonnie. It's hard to keep a straight face because it's beyond hilarious to her, seeing her friend so distressed over having a crush on sweater vest wearing Chet. The way she's acting is though it was the worst thing in the world.

"What happened to Luka?" she prods, reminding her friend she's supposed to be crushing on another boy. She introduced them about a year ago and the future tennis pro hasn't been able to shut up about him since. "You've been in love with him since you met him"

"Yeah but he hasn't made a move." she reminds Bonnie unblinking, her tone edging on droning. "I can't wait on him forever." And her friend really must be over the college student because there isn't the least bit of sadness in her tone.

Bonnie doesn't comment considering she's been waiting on Kai for half a decade. When it's caught up to Cleo's brain what she's said, she tries to backpedal, "I mean, slow burn's are great and all but it's not for me, you know? Hence why I need your help"

Bonnie decides to not be offended, eyeing the pleading look Cleo is giving her. "Come, please" the athlete tries to convince her, laying on the syrup.

"I thought you wanted me to talk you out of it." she comments, flatly.

"I do." she insists and then tacks on after a beat. "Mostly"

Bonnie shakes her head, laughing. Because this girl was going to seriously give her whiplash. Once she's had her fill, she gets serious. "Okay, well, on top of him wearing sweater vest, he may actually be an android. Yeah, I'm pretty positive he's an android. I think I saw some battery fluid leak from his nose the last time we FaceTimed"

"Yes! Keep going!" her friend encourages, enthusiastically.

Bonnie tries to think of a good one. There has to be a dozen. This was Chet they were talking about.

She finally thinks of one. "He's continuously correcting people on their use of bad grammar"

The enthusiasm on her friend's face seems to fade away, informing Bonnie she's non too impressed. "Meh, I'm guilty of that too"

"He plays backgammon. And enjoys it" Bonnie reminds her friend.

"I don't know. I kind of find that hot."

"Okay," she says lengthening the word, thinking of another, the most offending one of all, "His name is Chet..that should be the numbero uno offense if we're being honest"

"Um, so, yeah.. you're kinda failing at this" the darker skin girl tells her.

"I know," Bonnie agrees, head falling back in defeat. "He's awesome. I love his robot acting ass" But also there was something about his unfiltered honesty that was refreshing.

"Me too" her friend matches her groan.

"Wait!" Bonnie pipes suddenly, finally remembering something that had crossed her mind briefly when she'd first met Chet. "Are we sure he's even straight?"

Cleo's mouth hangs open for a bit before shaking her head and saying, "Wait, you don't think.." and then her expression turns faraway.

"I just never hear him talk about girls." Straight guys, it seems to be their only topic of discussion. Jeremy won't shut up about them.

Cleo face becomes contemplative as if she's going over in her head whether she's ever seen Chet talk about girls either and when the answer stares her in the face she drops out, "Oh, sh*t"

But before Bonnie can get a word out, she's backpedaling, "Wait, that doesn't mean anything, he could just be really respectful"

"But he doesn't flirt with them either" Bonnie points out.

"He doesn't flirt with anyone." Cleo's starting to get defensive, her face flashing hints of irritation. Bonnie wants to say if that's the case then it doesn't bode well for her then but doesn't, it's in her best interest to not irritate her friend even further. She has a shortage of friends lately, she couldn't lose anymore.

"Maybe he's an Ace." she throws out there, though the only way to find out is to ask him but Bonnie damn sure wouldn't be the one to do it.

"Definitely not, he spent the night once and the next morning he totally had a morning wood situation going on"

Bonnie stares at her friend nauseously. "I really don't want to hear about Chet and his erections please" She leaves off the part that there were plenty of reasons why guys get morning wood and most of them had nothing to do with being turned on.

Cleo bursts into laughter, unaware of Bonnie's thoughts then counters when the cackles have tapered off, "Well, I don't want to hear about Kai and the various shades of blue his eyes change from day to day.."

Bonnie hoods her eyes, giving her friend a dry look. "I thought we were off that?"

"We are. Now back to Chet" the darker skinned girl reroutes the conversation back to backgammon champion, her grin insufferable. "So I've decided you should find out"

"Oh no" Bonnie's shaking her head vigorously. "I'm not going to ask that boy about his sexual preferences" Because how freaking invasive is that? She would know, she couldn't count how many times she was questioned about her own sexuality. All because she hadn't presented like most girls did, she's sure not dating didn't help either.

"Well, I can't do it." Cleo states, unyielding on why Bonnie should be the one to do it. "He's going to wonder why I care, and then he'll put together that I like him"

"And if I do it, he's going to assume the same thing" Bonnie relays slowly as if explaining this to a child.

"But you don't" Cleo blinks, not getting it.

The eye roll she gives the other girl is rooted from true vexation. "That's not the point"

The taller girl lets out a languorous sigh, then offers up a suggestion, "You could subtly get the information out of Hudson. I'm sure he'd tell you anything you wanted to know" Bonnie ignores her teasing tone, the way she waggles her brows suggestively.

"Yeah, but that would require me talking to him for longer than five seconds"

"And what's wrong with that?" her friend poses, looking offended on the blonde's behalf. "I'm sure it wouldn't be so bad. From what I've discovered, the boy actually possesses a brain"

Bonnie nearly chuckles because when she first met him she assumed that he was just a pretty face, no actual substance. But then she learned he was the student class president, editor of the schools paper, a shoe in for Harvard in the fall. And if by some chance Chet grades dropped significantly he would be salutatorian of his graduating class. The issue isn't she thought he was the stereotypical dumb blonde, it was the fact that the chemistry just wasn't there.

"He talks about you all the time, you know? And not just in a, 'She's so hot' kind of way. He's always mentioning how smart and funny you are"

"What's up?" Bonnie spits out, irritated. "Why are you such a Hudson cheerleader all of a sudden? I thought you liked Kai."

Cleo always talked about how cute of a couple they would make. How they vibed so well together. How Bonnie needed someone the opposite of her. How Kai was that person. Now suddenly she's ditched him to jump on the Hudson train? What gives?

"I do. But I don't like to see you suffering" Bonnie wanted to roll her eyes at the dramatics, "Until he realizes what everyone else does, that you're a bad ass bitch and deserve to be worshiped like the Queen you are, I think you need to explore other options. And I'm not saying f*ck every dude on sight or anything but at least date. How are you wasting all of this hotness?" she gestures at the screen, like it was a crime for Bonnie to not waste her time on the generous sea of f*ckboys out there.

Bonnie wants to drop her head forward. Feeling an intense amount of sadness taking over. She doesn't want to date anyone else. Even if she could find a decent guy who didn't let their eyes roam to every girl in the room, it simply wouldn't do. She wants Kai. Yes, she's mad at him for his petty ways but that doesn't erase the feelings she has for him. If she can't have him, well, then there's no point of it at all. She's not going to pretend with anyone else. That wasn't fair to them, whoever this person was. They would only be playing second fiddle.

"You know subtlety isn't my specialty, your words." she points out, getting back to the original question that was posed her way. "Like you said, he isn't an idiot. He'll think it's weird if I start asking about his best friend's dating life"

Cleo's countenance falls. Despite the fact, she's nodding slowly, having come to terms with the fact that Bonnie wasn't going to be the one inquiring on her crush's dating preferences. "Ok, so what am I going to do then?" There's that whine again.

"Nothing. If it's meant to be, it will be"

"So basically continue to suffer in silence. How is that an acceptable option? Wait, I'm asking the girl that's been in love with her best friend for a gazillion years"

Bonnie decides she's offended. Which inspires the lasers she shoots at the tennis star.

But there was no backtracking on her friend's part this time. She gives Bonnie a remorseless look then stating in an even more pitiless tone, "Don't look at me like that. It's true. You've been in love with him forever. Piss or get off the pot"

"He has a girlfriend" Bonnie drones on blandly. Forcing herself to not reveal just how bothered she is about the fact. Because even if they weren't on the outs, that fact still remains.

"Since the f*ck when?" he friend asks, her mahogany eyes blinking wildly.

"Since he fell in love with his twin flame at a party about a month ago. They've been inseparable since" And she really should be an actress, she has the unbothered act down pat.

"Damn, I'm sorry" her friend comments, looking regretful for even bringing the subject up.

"S'kay" Bonnie responds, sticking with the pretense of not giving a f*ck and keeping her voice light. "This is about you anyway." She needed to steer this conversation back around to the older girl, discussing Kai and how pathetically in love she was with him was not how she planned on spending her evening.

Cleo nods though her expression hasn't fully cleared yet. There's still hints of pity there that she absolutely could not stand to see.

"Just tell him then." she advises, blocking out her feelings on the other matter. This was clearly what Cleo wanted to do, she just wanted to be convinced of it. "If he likes you, he likes you. If he doesn't, well, then that's his loss" Because it's true, if Chet can't see how awesome Cleo is then he doesn't deserve her.

"I can't just tell him. At least not yet. I have to feel him out first. I need you to observe him, how he acts around me. Let me know what you think, if he's at all into me or not. That way I don't embarrass myself"

Her eyes are practically pleading but Bonnie has to remind herself of her ever growing to-do list. She's not a procrastinator normally but she'd let the drama with Kai take precedence over everything else. She will not fall behind on school work. Ivy leagues were looking at her, she could not afford to let her GPA slip. "As much as I would love to play wingwoman I have a paper due next week and it's not going to write itself."

"I'll help you." the older girl offers charitably which was so unlike the teen. From what Bonnie's gathered over the past few years she's known Cleo, school was not a topic the other girl was ever thrilled to discuss. "We'll dedicate a whole night to it. What's it on?"

"The positive effects World War II had on American society today"

Cleo nods, shocking Bonnie by not looking completely revolted. She was expecting a look of regret to envelop her friend's face at ever offering her help at all but she doesn't look like she wants to take back her offer which means she really likes this boy.

Ah, this was too familiar. Bonnie can't even recall how many times she's helped Kai with essays that bored her to tears but she'd suffered through it because it was him.

Bonnie must look skeptical instead of the reminiscent way she was feeling because the honey blonde beauty boasts quite co*ckily, "I know I don't look it, Bonnie, but your girl's a genius."

Bonnie laughs. "I don't doubt that" she comments, tickled. "It's just..you really want this, huh?" And by this she meant Chet. Bonnie can feel her eyes narrowing on her friend, inspecting. The star athlete blushes, well as much as her dark skin can, that is.

"Wow. You like him more than you did Luka" Bonnie points out with squinty eyed curiosity. There's a desperation here that hadn't been with the other boy.

Oh my God, this is too cute..

Cleo expression collapses, "It just happened out of nowhere. One minute he was my friend the next I couldn't take my eyes off of him, held onto his every word. I can't understand it. With Luka I knew right away I liked him, with Chet it just snuck up on me."

"You're speaking to the choir" she throws her hand up in praise. Bonnie hadn't looked at Kai as anything other than a friend then boom, she was in love.

"So you get it." she voices as if that's a bullet point to her, 'Why you should help me' checklist. "Plus," she lengthens the word enticingly, "You can keep Hudson busy while I mack on his friend. Subtlety of course"

"Of course" she responds to the subtle comment because they both know it would be anything but. "And what did I tell you? Hudson and I are just friends" Cleo is never failingly bringing him up. More so lately. It was starting to get on her nerves because she's told the Hawkins girl a million times it would never happen between her and the blonde.

"If he had his way you two wouldn't be" Cleo goes on in a teasing tone.

"Not interested" It wasn't that he wasn't attractive, he was, any girl with eyes could see that but his type of pretty she wasn't interested in. He had that all american 90's heartthrob look down pat but the River Phoenix's and Ryan Phillippe look-a-like's never did anything for her. She liked her men tall, dark and grungy and borderline psychotic–Hudson was too tame for her, too far in line, he would bore her to tears.

"Why? He's cute and he likes you. Actually shows it, unlike someone we know"

"Stop" she warns, her voice teetering on the edge of annoyed.

"It's true. You just told me he has a girlfriend. How clear can he make it? He's not interested"

Her first thought is to be offended because harsh much? But then she truly examines her friend's words, what they imply. "Wait," her heart freezes in her chest. "You think he knows? How I feel about him.." She whispers the last part as if Kai was in the nearby vicinity.

"I don't know. Maybe" the other girl shrugs but it's unconvincing and very clear by the wince pulling at her lips that she thinks he does. And it must not sit right with her, how unforthcoming she's being, so she cuts the B.S., "I clocked it within five minutes of meeting you guys. You couldn't take your eyes off him. I wanted to vomit."

"Thanks alot"

"I'm joking. It's cute, your little crush." she tells her, grinning obnoxiously.

"Oh my god" Bonnie chokes out, palming her face, positively mortified. "He knows" she tacks on, letting the words sink in. Because if Cleo had picked it up within five minutes of knowing them then surely Kai has and he's known her ten times as long.

"It's okay" her friend assures, her voice soothing in its delivery. "So what-"

But Bonnie is cutting her friend off before she can finish what she's saying, "It's not okay. It's embarrassing" she voices, feeling pathetic, letting that raw emotion of rejection claw at her chest. "He knows and yet…" he hasn't done anything about it. Oh my god, she thinks she's going to hurl..

"Forget him. I hate to say it because you know how much I love Kai but girl you gotta move on. You're too f*cking fine to be stuck on a boy who only sees you as a friend. There are plenty of guys who will gladly have you. Hudson being one of them-"

But her friend's voice is drowned out by something she notices just outside her window. In the driveway, she spots her mom sitting in the car, her face is lit up like Times Square on Christmas eve as she blows a kiss to whoever it is on the other side of the screen. The thing is though, her dad is out back mowing the lawn.

Bonnie tried to rationalize what she'd seen days prior. Her mom had to have been talking to one of her gal pals. Because women do that, right? Blow air kisses to one another? Bonnie's not super experienced on the subject considering up until recently she's had two female friends to date, and one would threaten her with bodily harm if she ever tried such a thing. But she's sure other girls do it. But then she notices her mom coming home later and later. And when she is home, not being there for long, making all kinds of excuses to leave the house to run silly errands that could wait until another time. Her dad doesn't notice these little things. But she does.

But then there's moments when she catches Abby giving her dad cute little looks, just being super affectionate, touching and kissing on him for no reason other than to express how madly she's in love with him–to let him know he's her whole world. It gets her to wonder if her mother is truly doing suspicious sh*t or if she's let Kai's words get to her–drive her absolutely insane with paranoia.

One day she goes searching for the older woman. She plans on finally driving out to Virginia Beach to help Cleo get her man and she wants to run it by Abby but she can't find the older woman anywhere. She's checked every room in the house and then it clicks, she must be outside. She's right. She's in the backyard, legs drenched in their pool talking on her cellphone which whatever but when her mom rushes off the phone the moment she spots her approaching, guilt written all over her face, Bonnie knows Kai was right.

Her heart plummets to her gut.

f*ck.

"Hey, baby" her mom greets her, smiling warmly now that she's gathered herself. Bonnie's impressed really, how quickly she can turn it on.

"Who were you talking to?" She questions, hearing the suspicion in her tone. If her mother detects it too she doesn't show it.

"Oh, my girlfriend." Then she gives Bonnie an explorative look, "You look pretty. You going somewhere?"

Bonnie ignores the query because it wasn't asked because the older woman was genuinely curious to know, she asked to deflect but Bonnie doesn't let her get away with it, "Oh, who?" she prods, allowing the suspicion to recede from her tone. She wouldn't get anywhere sounding accusatory, "You were grinning from ear to ear"

"Meredith," her mom says smoothly, almost as if she had the answer on standby. "You know how she keeps me in stitches."

"Aunty Meredith? Call her back, I want to say hi. I haven't talked to her in so long"

"She got another call." Abby rushes to say, suddenly a lot less smiley, "Later" she promises but it's bullsh*t.

"So" the fairer skin woman chirps, examining Bonnie from head to toe, eyes smiling. "You heading out?"

"Yeah, Elena and I are going to the mall." Homecoming was coming up and the dress wasn't going to buy itself.

"And who are you meeting at the mall? A boy?" she's grinning now, being a typical obnoxious parent.

Bonnie's irritated though. She's really sitting here acting as though she hadn't nearly been caught talking to her boyfriend.

"One or two" She's lying, she's not meeting a boy but she's feeling petty and she wants to piss Abby off.

"Anyone I know?" her mother's still at it with the lilty tone. Bonnie wants to stich her lying lips closed.

"Oh, I don't know. Some guys I met in a chatroom"

At this, her mom stills then frowns, brows eclipsing her eyes, "You're joking right?

And when Bonnie doesn't say anything. "Bonnie, tell me you're joking"

Bonnie drags out the moment, allowing the utter silence to stretch by endlessly and when her mom is practically bursting with anxious worry, she reveals, unsmiling, "Of course I am"

Relief overtakes Abby's countenance, relaxing her pretty features.

Her mom really is gorgeous. When she was little she used to pray she would look just like her mom when she grew up. She hates that she doesn't. Her dads genes said f*ck it, I'm running sh*t, leaving her cute at best. But then maybe it's best she doesn't look like Abby. She wouldn't know how to handle being that pretty. Clearly it's an issue for Abby as well if guys are still hounding her despite her marital status.

Bonnie's eyes flicker over her mother's face. She sees how the relief that was just there is now morphing into suspicion. Her dark eyes peering at the younger girl for a long while like she's trying to decide if she believes her or not and then laughter suddenly leaves her lips, soft and tinkling, surprising her, "Good one. You had me worried for a minute"

Bonnie doesn't respond to that and it gets awkward really fast.

Abby fills in the silence, "Did you need something, baby?"

Yeah, the freaking truth about who you were talking to just now. Instead, she goes with, "I'm thinking about driving out to Virginia Beach with Elena this weekend."

"You're thinking about it.." a single brow rises on her mother's wrinkleless forehead. "Are you asking me?"

"Sure" she replies spiritless.

This gets her a flat look, letting her know how unimpressed her mother is with her attitude right now.

"Can I go? Please" Bonnie tacks the last part out at her moms displeased face. The words though, being she was asking for something should have been a bit more cajoling in their delivery, instead, they're clipped out, her irritation with her mother leaking through to her tone. Bonnie's never been a good pretender, so being entreating on the matter was a no go for her.

Abby sighs, her demeanor gives she wants to say no but she surprises the younger Bennett, "Okay," she responds, giving in. She lifts a finger in warning. "But no boys over. Just Elena, okay?"

"What about Cleo?" Bonnie asks, because the whole point was to see her friend. Help her snag cyborg Chet, "And Nora" she adds on, the other girl won't go but she's going to attempt to reel her in anyway. Hopefully she doesn't get bit.

"Yeah but that's all, Bonnie. No one else. Don't make me regret trusting you"

The irony was almost laughable.

"Oh, I won't"

She throws a party. Invites half of Virginia Beach.

"I wouldn't go in there if I were you" A shaggy haired surfer type warns, coming out of the restroom, a strong aroma emitting off his skin as he passes her up.

Weed.

So he was doing drugs in her bathroom. Great.

She pushes past him, flinging open the door. But what she's hit with, she's not expecting. A foul odor that went way beyond mere marijuana hitting her in the face with the speed of a freight train. She can't even explain the horridness of the smell; a mixture of vomit, feces and weed rolled into one. She nearly gags at the putrid aroma. Burying her nose with her top, she quickly gets out of there.

She looks for surfer dude but he's already lost in the crowd. Whatever. Normally Bonnie would have gone searching for something to mask the smell immediately but she decides she doesn't care, she'll just hire a maid service in the morning.

She goes to look for her friend, finding Cleo chatting it up with Chet in the den. He's sporting his usual lifeless expression, meanwhile Cleo is all bright eyed and full of light. She was just a very cheery person in general but for some reason Chet amplifies that.

"Hey you two. Enjoying ourselves?" she smiles grandly, trying to play the role of the super energetic host. But she wasn't a bubbly person, so she's sure she's failing.

This isn't her thing, hosting parties. Hell, neither was attending them if she's honest. But she's doing her best. Downloaded the most popular playlists. Even gone as far as googling party music to ensure she got it right. She spent nearly a grand on alcohol. Not the cheap sh*t either, top shelf sh*t. She really hopes her parents doesn't notice the large sum missing from her savings account.

Chet eyes her like he knows she's a fraud. He opens his mouth like he's about to tell her this but the words that actually come out surprises her, "Yep. Nice party"

Her mouth parts for a minute because was that a compliment? "Really?" she queries, her voice bright, the peppiness this time isn't faked.

"No, but I figured it was a good thing to say"

"Yeah, and it would have been even better if you had left that last part out" Because who needs this explained to them?

"Sorry," he apologizes, though not sounding like it at all. "I forget you despise honesty." he blinks at her then takes a sip of his solo cup.

"Not really. Just rudeness" she chirps good-naturedly, mirroring his action, bringing the vodka and pineapple juice up to her lips and swallowing.

"Oh my bad," he nods, apathetically. "I thought you loved it being you hang around punk all the time"

"Punk?" she echos, screwing up her face.

"It's what I call your boyfriend. I'm not good with names"

"Well, it's Kai." she corrects him offended on the teen's behalf. She didn't go around nicknaming Chet android so he should really cut it out. "And please stop doing that, he's not a punk" Because she's sure he means more than just aesthetic wise.

"Sure" comes the bland response.

"And he's not my boyfriend" she tacks on, getting frustrated with how everyone seemed to know she was in love with Kai.

Unless this was Cleo's doing..

Bonnie's eyes fly to the brown skinned girl, shooting her friend an accusing look. Cleo has the nerve to look unfairly persecuted.

"You're just in love with him. I know" Chet continues on, prompting her to bring her eyes back to him.

"I'm not" she stresses, her eyes stretching wide, tone annoyed.

But he just responds with, voice as colorless as ever and yet still able to display just how unconvinced he is on the matter, "Okay"

"Stop" this was the most condescending sh*t ever. And she thought Kai was good at being patronizing.

"What?" he says so calmly, blinking brown innocent eyes at her, like he's genuinely wondering.

"Chet, we won't judge you. Are you a little delayed?"

"If I'm delayed then what is everyone else?"

Bonnie ignores his arrogance in order to point out, "Yeah but there's book smarts and then there's like emotional intelligence"

"And I'm assuming you have both" There's that condescension again.

"Okay, I'm done talking to you" she turns away from him, giving Cleo her undivided attention.

"That's cool." she hears him say, sounding unbothered. "I need to get something to drink anyway if I have any plans on getting through the night"

"Leaving is always an option" she offers warmly, her smile nearly hitting her eyes.

Her friend shoves her, a little too hard if she's honest. She gives Cleo a 'What?' look but the student athlete just rolls her eyes.

So as an apology, she says, offering up an easy grin, directing her eyes that she has managed to defrost back to Android. "Just joking. Chet knows he's welcome to stay as long as he likes."

At this Chet turns to face Cleo, completely ignoring Bonnie. "Did you want anything?"

"A shot of tequila" she recites, not even having to think about it.

"Do you have a preference?" he requests in that southern refined voice of his, sounding like the good ol' boy that he is.

"Anything's fine."

"Are you sure?"

You would think getting someone a drink would be a simple task but no not with this one.

This prompts her to say, cutting in rudely, "Yes, Chet she's sure" her hands shooing him away.

His eyes are back on her now, giving her the longest stare anyone could ever give someone. And wow, she hadn't realized a person could go so long without blinking. And like that he's walking off to get their drinks.

Okay…

"Why did I say I like him again?" she asks her friend, not even waiting for him to be out of ear shot.

"Because he's awesome" Her friend tells her enthusiastically, sounding like the cheerleaders Bonnie still hangs with from time to time.

"And why is he awesome again?" she makes a show of confusion.

Cleo blows out a laugh.

"You laugh but I'm serious"

"Don't be so mean to him, he won't want to come back" she pouts prettily.

Her friend really was pretty though. She could be like an actress of something if her goals weren't set on being the best athlete to ever do it.

"And that's a bad thing because.."

"It's bad for my future plans of marrying him and having his gorgeous babies. So you better get on board." she tells Bonnie, tone stern. "You promised you'd help" she reminds the other girl of the vow she made weeks ago.

"I am, this whole party is to give you the perfect set up to truly interact with him in a more laid back environment,"

She's lying. This whole party was to get back at her mom. For the f*cking lie she told straight to her face. Acting out was so juvenile but it was the only outlet she had right now.

Her mouth rides up on one side as she gives her something that will lift her spirits, "He's totally doting on you. It's cute"

Cleo toggles her head from side to side, making a face like she's unsure on the matter.

And to prove she's right, she points out, "He didn't ask me if I wanted anything to drink"

Her friend gives her a level-eyed stare. "Because you were rude as f*ck to him"

"We were rude as f*ck to each other" Bonnie corrects the tennis pro, dragging the words out in an extremely slow manner.

Cleo rolls her eyes good naturedly then intones, lowering her voice, tossing a quick glance behind her, making sure Chet was nowhere in the vicinity, "So you really think he was doting on me?" her eyes are hopeful.

"Oh, for sure," Bonnie expresses, nodding once. "This is the most considerate I've ever seen him be" And she's not even saying that because she thinks this is what her friend wants to hear.

The sound that comes out of her friend's mouth is a cross between a groan and a squeal, like she started to protest but suddenly got excited at the prospect.

"Calm down" now she's the one rolling her eyes, she can't help how her expression melts into a grin. Her friend was too damn cute. "Let the night play out before you start pondering on whether you're gonna hyphenate your last name of not"

"Okay okay" Cleo replies, gesturing with her hands in a way that relays she's in the process of getting control of herself. Bonnie watches as the teen hollows out her cheeks, trying to lose the amusem*nt from her expression. And when she's satisfied that her countenance is all ironed out, "From here on out, call me Miss Chill"

"Not too chill" Bonnie warns, because hello, Chet had enough for them both, "Just be yourself. Remember, you're awesome!" and it's said with enough enthusiasm the other girl titters.

"Look at you using those cheerleading skills for good"

"As opposed to evil?"

Cleo gives her a look and Bonnie remembers how the older girl thinks they're a bunch of fake bitches. At least that's how she describes the ones at her school. Apparently, the browner skinned girl had experienced some aggressive bullying by them. It got so bad, one of the main girls who'd made life a living hell for Cleo day in and day out ended up getting expelled from school. Of course that resulted in more bullying.

"Do you miss it?" she asks, lifting her eyes to meet Bonnie's but just as fast they're flickering away, scanning the room, no doubt looking for Chet. Wow, this girl was truly smitten, he hasn't even been gone for a good five minutes and she's already antsy for him to get back.

Bonnie shakes her head not even having to think about it, "Nope, my head was never in it" she speaks about the brief time she was on the squad.

"Then why'd you even join? And don't tell me to be popular because I'll kill you." she points a finger at her, brandishing it like a weapon. "I'm serious, I carry a switchblade in my purse" she threatens.

Bonnie smirks because she could see her keeping it right next to her berry flavored lip gloss.

"I only did it to see if Elena and I's friendship could be salvaged"

"Well, that's quite the dedication." she intones rather flatly. "I truly hope she appreciates you"

Bonnie can't help but squint her eyes at the other girl because now she was truly sounding like Kai.

"You don't like Elena?" She poses carefully. Because that would be just her luck, to finally get her best friend back only for her to not get along with her other good friend. Bonnie had hopes the two girls would hit it off seamlessly and that they would be the three amigas but judging by the look on Cleo's face, that couldn't be far from the case.

She takes the diplomatic route when answering, "I don't even know her"

"But from what you do know of her..what do you think?" she queries, not letting the curvier girl out of giving a real answer.

"I don't know, Bonnie" Cleo comments, shrugging, eyes flickering down towards the ground. "She just seems kind of self absorbed if you ask me"

Yeah, she definitely sounded like Kai. She wondered if the two secretly hung out behind her back.

"I'll admit, she can be a bit selfish at times but at core she's genuinely a good person" No one was perfect, least of all not Elena, but the girl didn't have one mean bone in her body.

"If you say so" Cleo muses but Bonnie can tell she's not convinced.

"You'll grow to love her." she adds, confident.

To this Cleo doesn't comment and it's not like she had the chance to anyway because Chet comes traipsing up to them, a red solo cup in one hand, a shot cup in the other. "Clase Azul" he relays, his honey colored eyes latching onto Cleo's.

"I don't know what that is but thank you, sir" she smiles, taking the proffered drink.

Chet chuckles and wait..was that the first time that's ever happened? At least to her ears it was.

"It's a type of tequila." Bonnie's the one who fills her in. "Basically, he's letting you know it's the good stuff" And why did she buy two hundred dollar bottles of tequila for a bunch of strangers she does not know. A fifty dollar bottle would have sufficed.

"Aw, well double thank you then" the tennis pro hopeful says, making a cheers gesture before tossing it back.

And when the tiny cup is drained she lets them know, "Wow, that really is the good sh*t. There was barely any burn" she voices, then locking accusing eyes with Chet, her expression going from zero to ten real quick, "You took long enough"

"Oh, I ran into an acquaintance from school"

Not 'I ran into to someone I know from school' but an acquaintance like he's a hundred but also damn, the way he used no emotion describing this person..it makes her wonder how he regards her.

"You mean a friend?" Cleo teases, chuckling, not taking it the way Bonnie had. She actually gives this robot here some grace.

"Actually, acquaintance was being generous," he murmurs, eyes flicking around the room boredly.

Bonnie laughs but Chet just remains stoic faced, not making eye contact with her until she utters amusedly, "Never change Chet, never change"

He blinks at her not saying anything and when the look lingers Bonnie gives another chuckle before saying, "This has been lovely catching up with you Chet but I have to go jump off a balcony now. So if you'll excuse me"

She can feel the heat from Cleo's murderous glare on her temples. She doesn't blame the older girl for her ire, she was a horrible wingwoman. And it wasn't even that she didn't like Chet, she did, she found his dry commentary amusing to say the least. It was more so trying to see if she could get a rise out of him by saying rude wild sh*t. Like if she told him she wanted to have a threesome with him and Cleo here, not that she did, but she'd like to know how he would respond to something like that. Would he remain stoic faced or would his eyes fall out of his skull? She'd put money on the former. But it didn't mean she couldn't enjoy the landmines she set out for him.

"Before you go unalive yourself" he speaks up, though his pitch has raised, his words were as emotionless as ever. He was dedicated to giving her absolutely nothing. She kind of admired it. "Thought you should know Hudson's here. He texted me a minute ago"

Bonnie blinks at him, wondering what that has to do with her but knows if she makes one more rude comment her friend would disown her, so she comments with, "Oh, cool" because what else was she supposed to say? It wasn't like she and Hudson were a thing, they were barely friends. It just makes her wonder what the blonde boy says about her to Chet here for his friend to announce his presence like it should matter to her.

The thought has her feeling queasy. She doesn't want him crushing on her. Because crushing meant at some point he was going to expect for her to reciprocate his feelings.

The same way you do with Kai. That's not true. She doesn't expect Kai to return her feelings. Would it be nice if he did? Sure. But she doesn't feel entitled to it.

Cleo opens her mouth to say something but then closes it shut, probably about to make some teasing remark about Hudson but then thinking better of it. Bonnie takes this as her opportunity to skedaddle. Hell, she'd face the consequences later.

She ends up finding Elena, her friend looking like she'd rather be anywhere else as some guy who looked suspiciously like Bill Skarsgard chats her up animatedly, using hand gestures and everything like he's deep into a wild tale. Elena, however, looks bored to tears. How he doesn't notice the 'Off me' look on her friends face if beyond her. And as if a flip has been switched, the other girl's face upon seeing Bonnie approaching lights up immediately, brightening up her pretty features. And since Bonnie knows the cheerleader is just itching to get away, she pretends like she's been looking for Elena all over and there's some unspoken emergency that needed tending to right away.

They spend the rest of the night dancing and flirting with guys. Bonnie's never actually flirted with anyone before because the one person she wanted to flirt with she couldn't lest reveal her crush, so this is new for her and she has to admit she likes it. Obviously, it wouldn't go anywhere with any of the losers but it feels good to be wanted.

They end up in the hot tub later. They consisting of herself, Cleo, Chet, Hudson and Elena. Cleo having kicked everyone out thirty minutes prior, telling them in an authoritative tone, 'You ain't gotta go home but you gotta get the hell out here. Get to steppin'' Bonnie, being super lit, found the booting of her guest hilarious at the time because Cleo had even delivered the line in an overly dramatic way her favorite comedian always did on his popular 90's TV show.

Bonnie hadn't been the only one loose off the goose, the entire gang was slurring words by the end of the night, even cyborg Chet. She doesn't think she's ever seen him appear so human before. She likes it. And apparently her friend does too, flirting relentlessly with him now that her inhibitions were lowered. Well, out the window goes the subtle approach, Bonnie thinks amusedly. But if she's honest, neither one of them will probably remember a thing in the morning anyway.

Someone suggests they play a game, truth or dare, she hadn't remembered who. Just that it was a not so bright suggestion being they were all drunk. Seriously, they were tore the f*ck up–finding any and everything hilarious and with no plans on ending the alcohol consumption anytime soon. But no one objects. So they play. But of course the dares turns sexual and Bonnie thinks everyone has pretty much kissed everyone at that point. What surprises her is her kiss with Hudson wasn't bad at all.

Hudson isn't her first kiss. She kissed a boy in fifth grade well before her crush on Kai had developed and altered her existence. His name was Rider Lewis, a fellow church member of hers. Grams without fail would drag her to church with her every Sunday. And every Sunday she would feel eyes on her, prickling the back of her neck and whenever she would turn around to see who was exactly causing the sensation, she'd find Rider sitting in one of the far back pews, his deep brown eyes watching her. Unfailingly, this went on every Sunday. And thinking about it now, it was probably creepy but at the time it always managed to stain her cheeks.

And on one day that she was particularly piqued with her Grams for making her go to church on the same weekend Kai had invited her to Lynchburg, his hometown before he moved to Mystic Falls. His grandparents still lived there and he sometimes visited throughout the year. But these visits involved entire weekends. Grams wasn't having it. In turn, Bonnie was stuck in Mystic Falls. So to get back at her grandmother, that Sunday she pulled Rider onto the front lawn while all the grown ups were chatting it up after services and kissed him right there for everyone to see. Grams snatched her little behind up and tanned her real good when they got back to the elder woman's house. Bonnie didn't regret it though, even as she sniffled through tears. Because there was some satisfaction with pissing off her Grams. The same as it was with throwing a party her mom would sure hear about later. Her kiss with Rider, she barely remembers. Her kiss with Hudson she wouldn't forget because it was good albeit a bit sloppy, but she doesn't hold that against him being the amount of alcohol he's probably consumed. She's sure sober Hudson would display a lot more finesse.

After many of silly dares later the game finally concludes. Except, Hudson doesn't want to stop playing. He wants more of her kisses. So he drags her into the den where they make out some more. Bonnie doesn't know why she entertains him; it will only deepen his crush–sending out mixed signals that she's actually interested in him beyond hooking up.

His hands are all over her and it doesn't strike her to put an end to this until he's attempting to unlace her bikini top. "I should get to bed" she announces, her words still slurring a bit, the alcohol still heavy in her system.

"You can sleep down here with me" he tells her, his words, a soft whisper against her mouth.

She giggles. She doesn't know why. What he said wasn't particularly funny but she's still drunk and everythings funny at this point. "I cant" and her voice sounds so young. Like baby Bonnie from four years ago. She can't believe this is her speaking.

"Why?" he nibbles on her mouth, the tips of his fingers ghosting her back, not letting up on his touch.

"Because" I'm a virgin and it's clear what you want. Something she wasn't ready to give to anyone.

"Because what?" he asks, pulling back to peer at her, his droopy lids blinking, barely managing the act. "You like me don't you?"

She nods because she does like him, he was sweet and cute and looked at her like she was a goddess. But he was more of a friend than a romantic interest for her. Even faded out of her mind she could recognize that.

"Okay.." he replies, lengthening the word, clearly not understanding what the problem is then.

She fills him in, voice hesitant, "We're friends" Though friends didn't typically make out with each other.

Only now does his face sort of sobers, "You don't want to change that?" and his voice sounds all ragged and gravelly. It would be totally hot if she was at all into him.

When she doesn't say anything, he questions, not sounding like his normal confident self. "It's him, right?" Bonnie's mouth slackens, the intensity of her hazel eyes amplifies. "Your best friend." he continues, bright green eyes locked unto hers, unflinching. "You're into him."

"What?" her heart is beating really fast now, threatening to rip out of its cage. The word having come out as a croak. Did the whole f*cking world know? Was she seriously that obvious or had someone told him this? So she asks to be sure, her voice hesitant, "Who told you that?"

"Chet." he answers honestly and a sense of relief washes over her knowing he hadn't come to this conclusion on his own. Which means other people probably haven't either. "He warned me. Pretty much told me I'm an idiot and wasting my time." He chuckles bitterly then peers at her with soft green eyes, "Am I?"

But before she can answer, Cleo's barging into the room, her dark eyes widening at the sight before her, Hudson still hovering just over her, their limbs locked together. She's sure they look like they were seconds from f*cking.

"Whoopsie, I'll just see my way out" the older girl apologizes, ready to make a bee-line for the door.

But Bonnie is blurting out before the teen could lift a foot to leave, "No, it's okay." she lets her good friend know, sitting up on the couch, in turn forcing him to do as well. A brow crooking high on her forehead as she peers at the taller girl, "What's up?"

"I was looking for Chet but don't worry your pretty little heads. Continue on" she encourages with enthusiastic hand gestures, like she was all for this hook up happening.

"No, it's fine" Bonnie gets up. She can feel Hudson's eyes on her, the confusion and hurt radiating off of him is kind of hard to ignore but she puts aside his feelings in favor of her own. She has to learn to start doing that more. "This house is like a maze. I'll help you look for him"

And when they're out of earshot, "What the f*ck. Bitch. Oh my God" Cleo's eyes stretches wide, demanding answers that Bonnie does not want to give.

"Thank you for saving me" is all the ex-cheerleader has to say regarding the matter while leading the other girl upstairs.

She should've known that answer wasn't going to fly with the tennis star. The thing about Cleo, as quiet as it's kept, she was just as gossip starved as Caroline. Though the former was a lot less relentless when it came to extracting info out of a person. "Wait, what? You guys weren't about to..you know?" 'You know', what she really wanted to say was f*ck but she knows Bonnie wasn't the type to respond to crassness.

"We were making out. He wanted to. But I just..I couldn't" she ends with a minute shake of the head.

Cleo has never asked her about her virginity status, mainly because they never really discuss sex like that. But she's pretty sure her friend knows Bonnie's never taken it that far with a guy before. She's sure the word virgin was stamped on her forehead. Everyone probably knew. She's not going to lie, It was humiliating being the last of her peers to still not do the do. Her friend must think she was so lame. Hell, she thinks she's lame.

"Oh, well, if you weren't feeling it, you weren't feeling it" the athlete voices in understanding. "Sex is a big deal"

And it's comments like that that makes her wonder if Cleo is a member of the virginity club as well. Cleo has mentioned hooking up with guys before but she's never got into specifics. Because hooking up could be a myriad of things. Some people considered kissing hooking up, others thought it was full on sex. It just depended on the person.

Bonnie just nods. They check upstairs and quickly discover Chet isn't up there. They're making their way back downstairs when Bonnie inquires, "And why are we looking for Chet?" she can't help tossing her friend a teasing grin.

And she can tell the other girl is trying her hardest to not burst into one as well. This inspires more teasing, "You liked that kiss, didn't you?"

Cleo and Chet had kissed during the truth or dare game and the girl had been all smiles ever since. "Oh, my god. Bonnie when I tell you it's like he invented the sh*t." she relays passionately, making Bonnie chuckle, following a step behind her as she leads them out the front door.

She's not going to lie, from what she'd seen had been impressive.

And she verbalizes just this. "Who knew robots could move their lips so fluidly?" Bonnie eyes flick over the porch but no Chet in sight. She thought maybe he was out here lighting up a spliff because he liked to do that alot but no, not even a hint of weed to let her know that he had been out here. Bonnie hates to think of it because her friend would freak but what if he left? He wasn't in any condition to–Chet was probably the most gone out of all of them, which was hilarious to see his uptight ass finally let loose some but it was an option. Uber was just a tap away.

"You are going to stop bad mouthing my future baby daddy" Cleo pushes her playfully then smiles dreamily, head slightly tilted up. "He's not a robot, he's just..different. And that's okay"

Well, that was one way to put it, Bonnie thinks leading the tennis pro hopeful down the steps to check the beach. She really hoped he hadn't decided to take a swim, it was beyond dangerous in his state. But she considers Chet a pretty intelligent guy, he's not his class future valedictorian for nothing. She thinks even intoxicated out of his mind his brain would register how bad of an idea that was. But she has to be sure, so she pulls the girl along as their toes hit the sand.

"Hey, if you like it, I love it" This was something she was starting to say a lot regarding the other girl's choices.

"And boy do I" she sighs, her tone smitten.

Bonnie stops her trekking to study her friend and when she sees that far away look in her eyes, she intones, giggling. "Oh man, you got it bad" she feels for the other girl. She knows the feeling all too well. She wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone.

"I do. I can't stop-" but she suddenly cuts herself off, her eyes stuck on something in the distance. Bonnie follows her gaze, she sees exactly what had cut the curvier girl's words off so abruptly.

Elena and Chet making out in the sand.

The darker skin girl doesn't stand there long, turning on her heel and rushing towards the direction of Bonnie's beach house.

Bonnie is right behind her, "Cleo, I'm so sorry, babe," she apologizes because damn that must have been tough to see. Bonnie's not sure she would have been able to even function if she ever walked in on Kai kissing another girl.

"Well, I guess we got our answer" the older girl huffs out bitterly. "He's definitely into girls. Just not this girl" She stops suddenly, giving Bonnie the chance to catch up to her. They're at the foot of the stairs but no one makes a move to climb upward. It's hard with the subtle lighting casting from the porch, but she sees it all the same, the slumping of her shoulders, the dejected tilt of her head. And then when she rounds to face her full on she notices how her facial features are no better. There's a tremble in her lips, a downcast in her eyes, the picture of devastation, dejection. Her friend looks so crushed and it tugs at Bonnie's heartstrings.

God, this was so messed up.

"It just figures, you know" the brown skin girl breathes out a ragged breath, looking like she's about to cry. "I should have known he would-' But she stops before finishing her thought.

Bonnie, curious to know what she was about to say, speaks, touching the other girl's arm comfortingly. "What?" she prods in a low inquisitive voice.

"Uppity black guys and their type" she spits out bluntly.

A slight frown works its way across Bonnie's brow.

Whoa. Okay..

"I don't think he's like that" she voices in immediate defense of the field hockey player, not wanting to think the worst of Chet. He didn't seem to have any issues being around her and Cleo. She actually got the impression it was a relief for him to be able to mingle with other people who looked like him. She doesn't get the feeling he gets to do that a lot. The self haters that Cleo speaks of weren't the type to hang around black people at all.

"Whatever. You wouldn't get it" the taller girl voices dismissively, her eyes flickering away to avoid Bonnie's befuddled gaze.

"What does that mean?" Bonnie questions defensively, her hackles rising.

The athlete finally looks at Bonnie, her expression filled with years worth of festering resentment. "You're not dark skinned. You pass the paper bag test. You have light colored eyes. Face it, Bonnie, you're a preference right along with your precious Elena."

Bonnie's mouth drops. "I'm a preference?" she replies, pointing at her person, beyond boggled.

Why the heck was Cleo separating them as if they both weren't black? Hell, if this was the 50's they'd both be in the back of the bus. It grinds her gears that she was being lumped in with the Elena's and Caroline's of the world.

"How often do you see black guys from around here date girls that look like me?" the athlete blinks at her pointedly.

"I don't know " Bonnie admits with an awkward shrug. "I guess I don't check for things like that"

Cleo gives her a 'Come the f*ck on' look. "Are you being serious right now? You don't have to check for it when it's staring you right in your face. Everyday I have to go to a school full of people who look nothing like me, who look down on me for the color of my skin, the texture of my hair. Making ape noises as I walk by. Discrediting my achievements in tennis because they claim I'm really a dude. And to not just get that from white people but my own kind." She nods her head as Bonnie just stares at her speechless, "Yes, not only do the white kids make fun of me but the black guys are right there with them being the biggest instigators."

Something inside her dies.

"I'm sorry." she releases immediately. "I didn't know you were going through that." She knew Cleo was being bullied, she just didn't know to what extent. Whenever she tried to broach the topic for some clarity her friend would quickly change the subject. It was a clear trigger for her and now she knows why.

She reaches for the other girl in an effort to console her but Cleo steps back.

"Whatever, it's fine" she mutters unconvincingly, not looking Bonnie in the eye.

"No, it's not." Bonnie goes on, taking a step forward, her hand lifting and then dropping at the memory of how the teen had responded the last time she tried to touch her, "No one should be subjected to what you're going through. It's disgusting. Absolutely despicable and if I had any skill in fighting I would whoop all of their asses for you." Her friend doesn't smile but some of the anguish does lessen from her features. "And you're right, it's so easy to forget the privilege we possess until we hear someone else's story. Sorry for making light of your experience as a dark skinned woman. I could never possibly understand what you go through on the daily."

It's true. Cleo is right, she recognizes it now. She does have privilege. Just like her mother has and her grandmother had and all of her cousins. And not just in the black community but in general. And maybe not on the same level as Caroline or Elena but it does exist. She feels shameful for losing sight of the plight of darker skinned women, hell men too, all because it wasn't something she'd personally ever had to deal with.

Thank you, the other girl mouths at Bonnie's apology, eyes shiny with tears and Bonnie can't help herself, she wraps her arms around her friend. The teen doesn't back away this time. She lets Bonnie hold her. Only stepping away when the ex cheerleader prompts, "Want to head inside? Order some food?"

Because what was better than binging on junk food after heartbreak? Plus, she needed to get some food in her system to soak up some of the liquor she consumed.

"No, actually I'm going to go, okay?" she says, swiping at her eyes then looking awkwardly over her shoulder in the direction of her own house.

"No, stay," Bonnie voices, bummed. "I'll tell them to leave" she promises, eyes pleading for her to stay. She hated to see the older girl so devastated. Cleo had been a real friend to her. If the other girl was uncomfortable with them being here, she would remedy that. They would make an evening of gorging themselves in ice cream as they curse the existence of every male on the planet.

"No, dont," Cleo blurts, looking mortified. She sighs then shakes her head. It's a moment before the level tone comes, "I'll see you later, okay?"

Bonnie nods but she's not so sure of that.

Before she could offer anything more the honey blonde is turning on her heels and trekking her way home.

"Where did Cleo go?" Elena inquires the next morning at breakfast after Hudson and Chet and the cleaning crew had left.

Bonnie was wondering how she would broach the topic, she guessed this was the perfect opportunity to address her friend's selfish ways.

Her eyes land on her childhood friend, completely bleeding over with frost, she utters out, disgust in her tone, "How could you?"

Elena looks taken aback at the venom Bonnie's throwing her way, her glass of OJ that was just on its way to her lips, lowering back down to the breakfast nook. "How could I what?"

Bonnie co*cks her head slightly, examining her friend with curious eyes. Was she really pretending that she hadn't broken girl code last night? Like she wasn't out on the beach having passionate make out sessions with Chet? "You hooked up with Chet. Knowing how Cleo felt about him.." she punctuates with a slow blink of the eyes.

They had a whole discussion about it prior to the party starting, the three of them. Elena going as far as saying they would make a cute couple as Cleo scrolled through his Insta. She knew the way Cleo felt about him, how the other girl couldn't shut up about him, had hearts in her eyes at the thought of being in the same room as him.

"Girl code, does that not mean anything to you?"

Elena mouth parts slightly before she offers a weak rebuttal, "I was drunk and he was cute. I just wanted to forget about Mason" Because it was all about her, forget everyone else's feelings. Cleo, Kai and everyone else who tried to warn her about the cheerleader was right, the brunette was beyond self absorbed.

"So he didn't mean anything, you were just using him.." she concludes, nodding briskly. "You could have just as very well used Bill Skarsgard-" Elena looks confused for a second but then the odd looking boy must come back to memory because her expression clears, "-to forget about your ex-boyfriend but you didn't. You didn't want a guy no one wanted. You went after Chet because he was desired by someone else. It was a challenge to you, an ego boost. But also you did it because you could."

"What are you talking about?" Elena looks full on angry now. Of course she does, she never likes being called out on her sh*t.

"You know what I'm talking about"

They stare at each other for a long time. And then Elena finally blows out, sounding tired, "What is your problem, Bonnie? It was just a kiss"

"A kiss that broke Cleo's heart. She's devastated" Bonnie explains to her in painfully slow syllables.

"You're right, I'm sorry. I'll apologize to her right now, okay. It's just..I started talking to him about my sh*t with Mason and he was there saying all the right things. And one thing led to another and it happened." Her eyes widens. She must realize how her words had sounded and clarifies right away. "It didn't go beyond kissing, I promise. I just was wrapped up in the moment. And I try to be strong about the break up but it's hard." Her words break off into a sob. "He's the only guy I've ever truly loved"

Bonnie hates that she feels sorry for the other girl now. Though she and Kai have never crossed that line, he was the only guy she's ever loved as well. She can't imagine how Elena feels having actually been with this person, and to be discarded like trash. She would have been more than devastated.

"I swear I wasn't trying to steal Chet from her, Bonnie. You have to believe me" she chokes out, tears streaming down her face.

So when the words come out her mouth they both know this is her offering up forgiveness, "Call her. Apologize. Now"

"Oh my god. You look so pretty." her mother gushes as Bonnie clears the last step and enters the foyer. It's the night of the Homecoming dance, so she's all dressed to the nines in a elegant strapless A-line silhouette gown in a gorgeous magenta hue that makes her feel like an absolute princess, her waist length hair(due to the clip ins she's added)is styled in spiral curls, the opposite of the pin straight way she normally wears it. Her makeup is subtle, exactly the way she wanted it. She was never about the full beat. That just wasn't her. She had enlisted the help of Elena because she was still a beginner with the whole makeup thing, her friend having left an hour and a half ago to get ready for tonight's events. Her and Elena had got back into their easy friendship after the brunette had called Cleo and apologized profusely. Cleo accepted it because she was that nice and wasn't the type to hold grudges. And even though they hadn't hung out since, she was cordial to her childhood friend the instances Bonnie had FaceTimed the rising tennis star in Elena's presence which was all Bonnie could hope for being the athlete had the right to still feel a way about it all. Time would only tell where their relationship went.

"Doesn't she look beautiful?" Her mother continues on, turning to Rudy whose brown eyes are soft on her in clear appraisal. There's immense emotion in their depths, like he's just now realizing how his little girl is suddenly not so little anymore.

"You look beautiful, baby girl" he compliments, his eyes shining with something that looks suspiciously like tears.

"Thanks daddy" she smiles, feels the burn of her own eyes. She waltzes up to him and wraps her arms around him. He mimics her actions, chin resting on the top of her head.

"Oh my god, this is so sweet" her mom is saying, sniffling, joining the embrace.

Bonnie stiffins. She hadn't meant to. It was just her body's automatic response to her mom's touch. She's been carrying around all this anger and resentment letting it bottle up inside her due to the fact that she couldn't properly utilize it. Because she had no proof. She couldn't just fling accusations at her mother about infidelity if they had no legs to stand on. She doesn't have time to investigate this the way she wants because of school, because of cheerleading. Yes, she's a cheerleader again. She decided to give it another try. Not really, Elena sort of guilt tripped her back into it. Claiming how Tiki had reinjured her ankle and how she was most likely going to be out for the rest of the year. How they couldn't find anyone half as good as her blah blah blah. Because apparently she was a natural despite her not having the passion for it. But aside from cheerleading taking up most of her time, she was also taking hella A.P. classes which meant uncovering her mom's philandering ways just wasn't a priority right now. And there was no way she was going to her dad about this without any proof. She hates it though, how deep down there's still a smidgen of hope that what Kai saw, what she'd seen, how guilty her mom looked rushing off the phone, the kiss she blew through her camera could all be explained away. But she knows that isn't the case and that was the crushing part. But for now, she had to let it go and hope her mom f*cked up enough that the truth had no other choice but to come out.

"So where is this young man who's supposed to be taking you to the dance? It's getting late" her dad remarks, glancing at the clock on the wall once their hallmark moment is over. He's in full on dad mode now.

"It's not" she denies, defending her date. "He texted me ten minutes ago that he's almost here" And just as the words leave her lips the doorbell sounds.

"That must be him" Bonnie states the obvious, she starts for the door but her dad beats her to it, his long legs getting him to their destination before she could. Of course he had to be the one to answer, pass up an opportunity of intimidating the sh*t out her date, yeah right.

He swings open the door, brows drawn tight. "You're late" he says by way of greeting in favor of the usual exchanging of hellos.

"Sorry sir, there was an accident on I-264"

"Right, you're coming in from Virginia Beach.." her dad remembers, which Bonnie doesn't even know why she told him, now he would assume anytime she went out that way was to see him.

"Yes sir,"

Her dad just quietly observes her date for a moment, his dark eyes, assessing. And when it goes on for too long, awkwardly long, her date introduces himself. "Hudson. It's nice to meet you by the way. The both of you" his smile is golden. His green eyes flick from Rudy to her mom who's grinning giddily beside her dad. She clearly has forgiven Hudson for his lateness. Her dad not so much.

"Do you have a last name, Hudson?" inquires her father but it's not asked as a way to get to know more about her date but because her dad is taking down his info in case he needed to be tracked down later. He wasn't even subtle about it.

"That actually is my last name, sir. Everyone but my family calls me Hudson. My first name is Nathaniel"

Bonnie didn't know this. Which just shows how much she actually knows him. She had made out with him and hadn't even known his first name.

Her dad looks unimpressed. But the heir to the Nabisco empire could be standing in front of him right now and he wouldn't crack a smile.

"It's nice to meet you, Hudson" her mother says as a way to distract from her father's rude behavior.

"It's a pleasure meeting you as well" he smiles then looks to Bonnie, his eyes tracing the lines of her body, which was like a death wish being her dad was right here but he cleans it up with his words, not letting the lust leak through his tone, "You look really beautiful"

"Thank you." she tells him, ready to get him out of her before her dad decided to kill this boy but also because they really needed to get going–she hates to admit it but Rudy was right, it is kind of late and she'd hate to miss anymore of the dance, so she prompts their departure, "Ready?"

He nods then promises her parents, "I'll have her back by curfew"

Surprisingly, her dad doesn't threaten the student class president with bodily harm if he doesn't. She's proud of him. He does however follow them outside to no doubt get Hudson's license plate number.

"You're dad looked like he wanted to shoot me dead on the spot" he voices to her with a chuckle after they're safely inside his car.

Bonnie clicks on her seatbelt and responds, "Oh, I'm sure he's still contemplating the thought. Also you carting his only daughter off in a death machine doesn't help" she teases, referring to his Porsche. It's a sporty little thing that she's sure gets to two hundred miles an hour easily if he ever decides to get daring. Her dad will be a wreck all night.

He bursts into laughter. "I promise to not go over the speed limit"

"Please" she offers him a sweet smile, holding her hands up in a prayer gesture. "Or at least wait until we pull out of the neighborhood."

"No problem." he chuckles at her request. "I get it though, my dad is the same way about my little sisters"

He has siblings..another thing she didn't know about him. Which prompts the, "How many siblings do you have?"

"Two younger sisters." a sigh drags from his lips in a way that tells her they were quite the handful too. She wonders how many boys he'd beat up defending them. "They're off at boarding school though" he volunteers, the comment surprising her.

"Why aren't you off at boarding school?"

She didn't see how it was fair that he was the only one not shipped out hundred of miles away from home.

"And be stuck at an all boys boarding school?" he looks at her crazy. "Because that's where my dad was trying to send me. I politely passed on that"

The fact that it was even an option to pass on. From where she stood if her parents told her she was going to boarding school then she was going to boarding school. But she doesn't know their family dynamics, maybe they treated their kids as equals, rewarded them for exceptional behavior. She doesn't know him all that well but from what she's seen he isn't a terror. There was the fact that he was really smart. The class president. Maybe his superb grades afforded him the privilege to decide where he wanted to attend school. It wasn't like he attended some no name public school or anything. From what Cleo's told her, he and Chet attended some posh private school on the ritzy side of town.

She nods. "No girls, right. I forget sometimes how guys can't seem to function without them"

"Well. when they look like you," he relays, giving her an appreciative once over. "Can you blame them?"

The corners of her mouth tips up in a lazy smirk.

"Real smooth" she comments, rolling her eyes upward, it's playful though and he laughs.

"Seriously though," he tells her after a moment, his face turning serious. "You look amazing"

"You look quite dapper yourself" she tells him, because it's true. He went all out, his tux was brand spanking new, obviously tailored to fit his impeccable frame. He smelled great, crisp, clean, fresh. His man bun was even perfectly groomed. With product and everything. Completely opposite of its normally messy appearance. He was handsome, she could admit, the type all the superficial girls at her school fawned over. She could see it now, her peers green with envy as she walked through the gymnasium doors with him on her arm. She almost sighed at the thought. Could already see the Chattr post being made about the two. Comments about how he was an absolute dream. How perfect they looked together. How gorgeous their babies would be yada yada yada. As if looks were the most important thing in the world. Yes, he was attractive, there was no disputing that. However, it was almost in a bland way, the kind where after he was no longer in your presence, you'd forget about what exactly it was that made him attractive to begin with, at least with her. The girls at her school would see his dirty blonde hair, glittering green eyes, his height, muscle build and would swoon on sight.

She nearly sighs at the shallowness of it all. Nearly gets out of his perfect Porsche and waltzes her designer draped ass back inside the house for an evening filled of junk food and Netflix. Because the fact remains that she doesn't want to go to Homecoming with anyone but her best friend. She's filled with so much sadness about it she could cry. They haven't made up yet despite her knowing now Kai wasn't exaggerating the situation with her mother as a way to feel better about his own family. She couldn't believe she accused him of that. He probably hates her. Because despite the apathetic looks he gives her the times he does actually deign to look at her, his silence tells it all. He hadn't seemed mad at the falls but he'd clearly had time to think about what she said, the callousness of her words. How she low-blowed it again, proving she wasn't as perfect as everyone made her to be.

And there's no real excuse why she hasn't approached him and apologized already other than plain old stubbornness. There also may have been a little lingering resentment from how cold he was before. How he'd rejected her calls. Ignored her for weeks in favor of entertaining his flavor of the week. Or rather flavor of the month because this one had lasted longer than the others. Which worried her. Was this girl the one? She knows he said he didn't feel that pull with Anna but the fact that he's dating her now must mean things had changed, right? Could there have been a latent spark that's just now manifesting? Could she be his person? His future wife? Bearer of his kids? The thought nearly makes her sick. She couldn't stand the idea of anyone having his kids but her.

"You okay?" her date queries beside her. Because clearly she couldn't keep her emotions in check, she obviously must have made some pained sound or maybe her face reflects the anguish she feels inside. She looks up at her Homecoming escort, his green eyes are filled with worry and she feels like sh*t that her thoughts are even on another guy when her date should have her undivided attention. So she plasters on a perfect smile and chirps chipperly, "Of course. I'm fine." But that was a lie, she was far from fine.

Kai's an hour into his sentence, because despite his fervent refusal to attend this sh*tshow that was Homecoming, he's here, impatiently counting down the seconds until it was over when he hears his date say beside him, rather optimistically might he add, making him nearly groan his disapproval, "Wanna dance?"

His eyes scan the sea of students packed into the gymnasium like sewer rats, biting back a sigh, thinking how the crowd's only going to grow larger as the evening progresses. But also because he thought maybe he could get through the entire evening without having to submit to her dance request. Apparently not.

"Not particularly" he comments not even bothering to look at her, because then she'd use those pretty onyx eyes of hers to try to guilt trip him and he may actually cave. He's not a softy. Far from it. Things like pouting and huffing a fit doesn't typically affect him. But he's also not an asshole, so when a pretty girl asks him to dance could he really deny her?

"Are you really going to be that guy?" And this has him finally facing her, his brow creasing in question.

"You know?" she says at his unspoken question, eyes dancing with amusem*nt. "The guy that goes to a dance but doesn't actually dance. Don't tell me you're the "too cool for school guy" she continues on using air quotes and then brandishing him with a flat stare, she gets out, "I hate that guy"

So she thinks insulting him will get him to relent. She has a lot to learn, this one.

"I don't dance"

A smirk quirks at her lips. "You don't dance or you can't dance?"

He looks at her drolly. "Both?"

She laughs but sobers up pretty quickly, sliding her arms around his neck and stepping on her tip toes to peck him on the lips. "I don't believe you." she pulls back from the kiss to say, her voice lowering to a silky purr, "Something tells me you're a really good dancer"

His eyes fill with amusem*nt, loving how much of a flirt she was. He was a flirt to the core and he didn't get to do it nearly enough, "Are we still talking about dancing?" his tone creeping into the honeyed category.

"Of course we are. What else would we be talking about?" she answers coyly, layering on heaps of faux innocence.

He chuckles, can't help it. He liked this girl. Just..not enough. His emotions must reflect on his features because she burst out, looking slightly worried, the lines of her body tensing, "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he shakes his head, pissed at himself for letting his thoughts go there, he doesn't like to think how there's someone else he'd rather be spending his time with because he isn't supposed to be thinking of her. Not after how she treated him. The things she'd said.

Stepping away then running a hand through his freshly dyed locks, he sighs out, "Just kind of ready to bail"

Technically he's not lying, he does want to leave. It's just not the reason he was growing steadily frustrated.

She gives him a dry look, "Yeah kind of obvious considering you didn't even dress for the occasion" Disappointment laces her tone while giving him a once over, taking in his jeans and tee with unimpressed eyes.

He returns the dry look. "Anna, you're lucky I'm even here at all"

A smirk crawls over her face, quickly replacing the disappointment that was cementing itself there, "Lucky? Is that what I am?" She looks like she's about to bust up.

"What? You haven't heard?" He blinks at her then gives her a blank stare, "You're with the most coveted guy in school.."

She leans in conspiratorially, keeping her voice low. "Is that why all the girls can't stop staring? And here I thought it was because you showed up to a formal dance in combat boots and hot pink hair."

Pale pink hair. But he doesn't correct her. He ditched the blue a day ago, needing a change. But he wasn't sure how much he was feeling it. He'd probably dye it again tomorrow.

"I'm starting to think you don't like my appearance"

She moves in closer, pressing another kiss to his lips. "I do." she denies after pulling away and there goes that purr again. "I like it alot." But he doesn't get to continue their flirt session before something completely steals his attention.

Bonnie.

He tries to catch his breath as she enters the gymnasium looking like an actual Disney princess.

He cringes at the thought because what? But there was no other way to describe how angelic and ethereal she looked. How utterly perfect she was. Which by the way, how could anyone be so f*cking perfect?

Seriously though, with her hair down all flowy and curled, her makeup, making her striking features stand out even more. Her pink gown that nearly matched his f*cking hair..

Wait, her dress matched his hair..

Okay, it wasn't the same shade but it was close…

What did this mean? Was this on purpose? Was she secretly trying to tell him something? No, of course not. She'd had to have picked out her dress weeks ago, Kai had only dyed his hair last night. She couldn't have known.

And it's like she can hear his thoughts because her eyes suddenly find his, his breath hitches in his throat but also there's a growl that's threatening to crawl up his throat that he has to stamp down because f*ck he hadn't realized until just now, until he spots the possessive hand land on her waist that she isn't here alone..

Of course she isn't alone. She was the most beautiful girl in existence. There probably was a roll out of guys that had showed up to her door hoping to escort her tonight.

Glancing up, he recognizes the annoying face the offending hand belongs to and immediately frowns. The douche from Virginia Beach..

And it shocks him because he's never gotten the impression the blonde was at all interested in Bonnie. Or vice versa for the matter.

Had Bonnie been crushing on this guy the whole time? She never said anything to him about it. But why would she? They didn't talk about these things. Other than that excruciating conversation they had in his car where she proceeded to grill him about Anna, that was the sole and only time they've discussed their dating life.

He feels betrayed almost. Like she's been keeping some huge secret from him.

And when could she have told you? When you were effectively ignoring her?

He growls at the direction his thoughts had gone.

"What's wrong?" he hears a voice say beside him.

Anna.

Right, Anna..

"Nothing" He answers, glancing back at her. But it's too late. She spots what he was just staring at, or rather whom.

"Look at Bonnie, she looks so cute!" she nearly squeals in excitement.

He snorts. Cute? How inept. Bonnie looked f*cking breathtaking.

She takes his snort as disagreement. "What? You don't think so?" And why does she sound happy about that?

He changes the subject, him answering that, saying how he really felt about the way Bonnie looked tonight, well that would probably send his date storming off in tears. "Wanna dance?" he throws out, loathing the thought but needing something to preoccupy his time. If he'd just stood here idle, he'd run the risk of staring at Bonnie all night. And he didn't think he could endure it–watching her be with another guy. The potential flirting, the dancing which was sure to come. The thought makes him uneasy, Bonnie pressed up against that douche, grinding to the beat to some cheesy ass song, yeah, more like murderous. His fist clenches at his side.

And then he sees it, himself striding across the gymnasium floor, his steps purposeful and determined, his vision having gone red, completely tunneled. Savage hands flashing upward once he's reached his intended target, and then how they're wrapping mercilessly around McPreppy's throat..

"I thought you didn't want to" The shocked voice says pulling him out of his daydream, though her tone registers surprise it's also mingled with a look of satisfaction. All pleased like she's won some great prize.

"I don't" he tells her. Harsh but it was better than the truth. Because he couldn't very well tell her that he was only offering to do so to take his mind off another girl? Yeah, he's pretty sure that wasn't going to fly.

She smiles and it reaches all the way up to her eyes, "Look at you doing kind, considerate boyfriendly things"

His back goes ramrod straight and she notices right away, eyes blowing wide. "I-I'm not saying you're my boyfriend or anything." she stutters out. "I know we're just hanging out. I just meant you're thinking of me first. It's sweet is all, I didn't mean to imply we're exclusive." she ends her rambling and when he doesn't speak, just blinks slowly at her, her eyes flashes with worry.

"Say something" she creaks out, looking full on panicked now but he can't say what he wants to say so he plans his exit.

"I'm going to get us some punch" he informs her, holding her gaze until she nods at him.

"Okay" she releases the word almost questioningly, that panicked look still marring her pretty features.

Kai's contemplating his life choices all the way to the drink station, cursing himself for ever getting involved with Anna because this was supposed to be light, easy, fun, something to take his mind off Bonnie. Because she's all he seemed to think about lately. He knows it's sh*t for him to use her like that but he swore if it wasn't for Anna and providing an effective distraction for him longing would literally eat him from the inside out.

"You look like you're preparing for your execution" Jeremy notes when he approaches the drink station. He and Nora are loitering near the gallons of he's sure spiked punch like degenerates, staring at him with amused eyes, like he's a dancing monkey. Was life really this pitiful?

"Anna just referred to me as her boyfriend" he tells them dully while looking over the drink options.

"Ah, the kiss of death." the older boy says with acknowledgement. "Well, it lasted longer than I thought which means I owe Nora here a very large sum of money" he adds on disdainfully.

Kai's eyes sweep up to his friends, annoyance flashing through him.

"You two are actually betting on my love life? Really?" He blinks at them both as if this was a new low for them.

Nora is the one that responds, looking hardly remorseful, "Hey, don't be mad at us. Blame the mind numbingness of this town. We have to entertain ourselves somehow"

He nods briskly. "Right, getting a life of your own isn't an option at all"

"And miss out on living vicariously through you? Never" she relays before taking a swig of her punch.

Kai shakes his head getting back to the topic at hand, "I think I'm going to end it tonight, I should have never hooked up with her to begin with"

"You're going to dump her at a dance?" Jeremy looks disgusted. Which, really? Jeremy's judging him? "That's cold even for you"

Kai gives the loser the finger.

"Tempting but I'm not into playing second fiddle to your one true love" he smirks nauseatingly at Kai, knowing how bringing Bonnie up will inspire a comment.

He ignores the goad. "So wait until after the dance? Does it even matter?"

"Wow, you're more clueless than I thought" the brunet voices, turning away to fill up another cup. Kai wonders how many he's had, if he'd need to play designated driver tonight.

"Says the boy dating his hand"

"What is this sh*tty mood of yours really about?" Jeremy whips at him after topping off his punch. "It wouldn't have anything to do with Bonnie showing up with that Hudson dude, would it?"

Kai can feel the pulse in his temple hammering at the mention of Bonnie's date. It takes him quite the effort not to bite out his next words, "Everything isn't about Bonnie"

Jeremy toggles his head as if contemplating Kai's words before deciding with, "When it comes to you, it is"

Kai gives the brunet the most lethal glare in his arsenal in which his friend just smirks gleefully back at him, getting out in between chuckles, "Why are you so dead set on denying it? It's us. You act like we're going to get on the loudspeaker and announce it to the entire school or some sh*t. Admit it, you f*cking love her"

"f*ck that dude" is the closest Jeremy's going to get to a confession. "Preppy ass bitch"

"There you go. Let it out" Jeremy encourages with hand gestures to match.

"What the f*ck does she even see in him?" he spits out, not seeing the appeal. But also he wasn't into guys so.. "He has a f*cking man bun." he relays to them both. "Seriously, how douchier can one get?"

And then the pitiless tone comes, "I told you, you should have said something at the party"

So Jeremy thinks it's too late? f*ck.

"Whatever." he tries for nonchalance but it hardly sounds convincing. Jeremy is about to respond when the King of the douches waltzes up to them, Damon f*cking Salvatore, sporting a slimy smirk on his weaselly face.

"What are you two chatting about?" he questions approaching them, humor reflecting in his pale as sh*t irises. "Finally confessed your feelings to one another?" he widens that insufferable smirk of his, thinking he's so f*cking clever. He wondered if he'd be laughing if he ripped his f*cking lips off.

"See, I'm starting to wonder." Kai lets out, tone probing. "All this hom*ophobia you spew out on the daily. Could this be rooted in self hate? It would definitely explain a lot." he notes, contemplatively.

Damon features that were annoyingly amused just a moment ago morphes into flat out agitation. "I'm not into that sh*t Parker and I think you know this" the words drenched in condescension.

"I don't know anything other than the fact that you're weirdly obsessed with me. What's up with that, hm?" he inquires, slightly co*cking his head, examining the asswipe with a slightly explorative expression.

"Well, you would know about being obsessed with people. How is Bonnie by the way? Or would you even know?" He's back to that insufferable smirk of his. "Word around school is she finally realized what a creepy f*ck you are and ditched your ass."

"And now that I'm out of the way you can shoot your shot. She hasn't spoken to you since you showed up to her house like a stalker and she rightfully kicked you out but go ahead, I'm in dire need of a laugh."

Damon doesn't get a chance to rebuttal because his date trounces up to him looking slightly aggy.

"Hey, were you going to make me wait forever?" she directs her comment at Kai, ignoring everyone else.

Right. The whole reason he ditched her in the middle of the dance floor was to get them both punch.

Before he can craft a response, Damon speaks, turning his attention to Anna, narrowing his deceptively genial gaze on her, "Hi, I'm Damon. Anna, right? Kai's girlfriend?" a black brow wings up on his forehead.

"Uh no." she shakes her head looking briefly at Kai then back to the douchebag. "We're just friends"

There's faux acknowledgement reflecting on the asshole's face. "Oh, I thought you two were a thing." He puts on quite the show of being mistaken, "Silly me. Sometimes I forget how in love this one is with Bonnie." he comments, inclining his head towards Kai. "Anyway, I should get back to my date. Don't forget to vote for me" he shoots at Anna before leaving.

"In love with Bonnie..?" she whips around, turning to face him, her dark eyes accusing, not caring about confronting him with Nora and Jeremy right here. "What is he talking about?" her expression demanding answers he isn't willing to give.

"Damon's just being Damon." Jeremy cuts in, having his back. "You're new here so you don't know this yet but they sort of hate each other. It's a whole thing. Spanning back at least a decade but I won't bore you with the gory details. Point is, you shouldn't take anything he says seriously. He's just trying to stir up sh*t"

What he does best, Kai thinks bitterly.

"Oh, okay." she nods, looking slightly embarrassed for her outburst however heaps relieved. "Big man on campus slash typical asshole jock. Got it." she nods once in understanding. "I guess there has to be that one dick in every school, right? And here I am hoping this wouldn't be like the last twenty schools I attended." she ends on a sour note.

"Oh, you thought you'd end your high school experience surrounded by decent human beings?" Kai comments, staged disappointment heavy in his tone. "Oh, how naive of you"

Nora speaks for the first time since she half ass tried to defend herself for wagering on Kai's lovelife. "Don't be so hard on her, it's cute this world hasn't completely jaded her yet"

"Wow, you guys are something" she places emphasis on the last word.

"We're the best you're going to get, newbie. Everyone else here will pretend to be your friend and then completely talk sh*t about you behind your back." Nora gives her the sad reality.

"So I'm stuck with you guys then?" She makes it sound daunting but It's clear she's joking by the amusem*nt peeking through her dark irises.

"You can always join the insufferables" Jeremy provides her with another option, seemingly missing the fact that she's far from serious. "Apparently they're taking applications" he goes on, eyes trained on Bonnie who is now chatting it up with Ben Mckittrick, Damon Salvatore's best friend and number five of the six, as her date stands way too close in his opinion. He gets it though, if it were him he wouldn't leave Bonnie's side either. Despite the fact, his closeness is causing his teeth to grind.

"Bonnie isn't an insufferable or a wannabe or whatever you're trying to imply" For some reason Kai feels the need to defend the cheerleader, he hasn't talked to her in weeks but he would always feel the need to take up for her. It was an instinct ingrained in him.

"You sure?" the stoner boy finally glances at him to say, his tone doubtful. "From where I'm standing, she fits in well. Too well." He tacks on, eyes landing on Bonnie again, his mouth twisting in a dissatisfied tilt. "Seriously, when was the last time she's even eaten lunch with us?"

"She's pissed at me. It has nothing to do with you guys" he lets them know, voice hard. No need for them to be upset with Bonnie when everything was apparently his fault.

"Why exactly is she pissed at you? What did you do?" Jeremy immediately asks, his usual warm brown eyes cold and accusing, directing that resentful energy he was just aiming towards Bonnie at him now.

It's f*cked up how everyone always assumes it's him that's the problem. "Because it's always me right?" he spits, relaying his exact thoughts.

"Well, yeah" the brunet lets out slowly as if to say who else's fault would it be?

Kai sighs then glances at Anna, "Still want that drink?" There has to be something here that isn't spiked, he thinks.

She shakes her head in the negative, plasters on a pretty smile, "I would like to dance though" she layers on the sugar and he groans. Her hands go up in a prayer gesture.

"Please"

Ugh.

Bonnie's crowned Homecoming Queen but not before a small mix up with the votes, scratch that, it was more than deliberate. Apparently someone had thought it would be funny if Damon was crowned Queen instead. Bonnie's sure she knows the culprit though, having found Kai in the crowd while Principal Satzman went on a tangent directed at the anonymous jokester threatening all kinds of punishment once he found out who the responsible party was.

She'd watched him from afar, a mischievous gleam to his eyes, pleased smirk on his face as Jeremy and Nora cracked up beside him. Bonnie had found herself scoffing. He couldn't have looked more guilty if he tried. But gosh this was so Kai, always needing the last laugh. She'd seen Damon approach him earlier to no doubt taunt him, she guessed this was Kai's payback for their prior encounter.

After her dance with Matt she returns to her date's side, surprised to not find Caroline all in his face. Earlier, when she'd left his side for a bit to chat up her squad members she'd glanced in his direction, an attempt to ensure he wasn't trying to signal to her with 'Save me' eyes as he chatted it up with Tyler and Ben because they could be quite the pricks when they wanted. But the two jocks she left him with weren't who she found chatting him up. No, all in his grill was no other than the ex cheer captain. She'd been clearly flirting with him and Bonnie couldn't tell if she was genuinely interested in him or just wanted to piss Bonnie off. Probably both. She recalled feeling really irritated in that moment. However, her annoyance had nothing to do with jealousy and everything to do with the gall of this girl, macking on her date like she wasn't just mere feet away. The thought one would assume is that Caroline would steer clear from more drama, having learned from her past mistakes. But no, of course she doesn't feel bad for all she's done. Because that would require her having a conscience, a heart. But Bonnie hadn't felt enough of a way about it though to make it a thing. As nice of a guy Hudson is, he isn't someone one fought over. Bonnie could only think of one guy she would consider slapping a chick over, which happened to be the same one that was currently not talking to her at the moment. Or was she the one not talking to him? Whatever. Point was, he wasn't Kai.

She'd known this. Knew she should turn him down when he persisted to be her date tonight. She didn't want to give him the wrong impression–that they could possibly be something. She could tell how hopeful he was now that he's gotten her to hang out with him beyond a group setting. Because they've never done that before. It was always Chet or Cleo or his friend with the red hair and forgettable face hanging around, adding a level of platonicness to all their interactions. But here they were dancing together without the buffer of their friends, standing so ridiculously close that she could feel his semi erection pressing against her hip. And instead of worrying about what's going on in her date's pants, all she can concern herself with is the emo boy with the pink hair.

Her eyes immediately find him in the crowd as she dances with her date, gaze landing on the tall boy, his taut long limbs wrapped around the brunette girl, meshing their bodies together as they sway languidly to the music. There's a slow song playing so of course they're as close as they can get. The sight of Anna's head resting on his shoulder, Kai's hands dipping low on her waist, nearly fanning over her ass, she thinks she might be sick. And when his date's head leans up and kisses him on the lips she actually does get sick. Her stomach swims, nausea coating the contracting walls. She can literally feel the bile creeping up her throat, threatening to spew vomit all over the shiny gymnasium floors. So in an effort to not embarrass herself because how lovely would that be the Homecoming Queen retching up her insides as shocked onlookers pointed and stared and whispered about her like the constant gossip topic she was? She gets out of there, muttering an excuse to her date about needing to use the little girls room, voice shaking, barely catching his response due to the fact that blood was roaring so hard in her ears she could barely hear. She does catch the nod though which means he believes her. And that just shows just how not right for eachother they were. Kai would have known right away that she wasn't fine. Of course though, if Kai was her date instead, this scenario wouldn't even be playing out to begin with.

She pushes past the gymnasium doors and into the hallway her entire form shaking from root to limb. Feeling like she's about to hyperventilate, her breaths coming in fast and expelling at an even hurried rate. Eyes flicking around in panic, she searches for potential witnesses to her meltdown. She would die if someone saw her like this. But It's deserted because everyone is at the dance where she should be right now. Instead, she's out here gasping for breath, searching for a locker to steady herself on.

She finds one. Immediately, slumping against the cold rolled steel, tipping her head back against the hard surface, eyes tightly shut and concentrating on slowing her breathing. What the f*ck was happening? Was she really having a panic attack at the sight of seeing her crush with another girl?

Pathetic.

She squeezes her eyes tighter, tries to expel the feelings of jealousy, of panic, of rage away. She had no right to feel this way, she knows, he was single. He was only doing what any guy in his position would do, enjoying a pretty girl in front of him. But God was it hard to watch. Bonnie's not dense; she knew Kai hooked up with girls, he just normally did it in private. He was good at not subjecting her to witnessing their make out sessions, feeling up their asses. So what changed? Was this girl the exception? Deemed worthy enough to him to actually display PDA with? She couldn't understand it. What was it about this girl? She's no prettier than the other girls he's brought around. Her personality didn't seem all that spectacular if you asked Bonnie. Honestly, she was lowkey kinda bland. She sounds like a hater she knows but she swears this Anna girl was the equivalent to wonder bread.

To you, her mind supplies because clearly he doesn't think the brunette was boring. She'd probably show him all the ways she was not boring when the dance was over and they were alone. The thought, Kai and Anna enjoying each other in that way was more than she could bear. Spirits plummeting further, she slumps to the ground, sitting back on her haunches, which was hell being she was in four inch stilettos. How women could subject themselves to this torture on the daily was beyond her.

masoch*st behavior.

She snorts internally. As if she could talk. She hung out with a boy she was madly in love with willingly, even though she knew he had absolutely zero interest in her romantically, subjecting herself to daily disappointment and rejection. If that wasn't textbook masochism she didn't know what was. Except, she hasn't been hanging out with him lately. It's her fault mostly, she knows. She's insulted him entirely too many times in a span of a month for him to ever want to make peace with her. Hell, If she was him, she wouldn't make peace with her. So to rectify the situation, get her best friend back, she'd come here all ready to apologize, decided this on the car ride over here as Hudson yapped her ear off about whatever. Because despite the sh*t they were going through, they were ride or dies, declared it eighth grade year. So, like it or not, he was riding this sh*t out with her to the end, damn it.

But of course, what does she see upon laying eyes on him in the crowd after arriving? Anna, all in his face, all googly eyed and smitten like he was the love of her life and not someone she'd just met a month ago, stealing all his attention. He hadn't noticed not a single person but the girl in front of him.

Ugh. She should have known he'd bring her. She'd seen the writing on the wall for a while now. They'd been inseparable since the brunette had arrived to their pathetic little town, spending all lunch period chatting it up about music and all the obscure rock bands they both listened to, how they flirted shamelessly with each other, oblivious to everyone else around them. So engulfed in each other that a bomb dropping on them wouldn't even be enough to pull them out of their little bubble. But despite all the proof laid out before her, she deluded herself into thinking he wouldn't come with her. She didn't want to believe it, that he could feel something for this girl he's known a mere second. But that was clearly what was happening here.

He'd fallen.

And hard.

And the reason she knows this is because Kai doesn't do dances. Specifically, the dancing part. But apparently he does for Anna. She was the exception and that fact was the most crushing discovery of it all. So no, she wasn't going to rectify sh*t, she decided. Because it wasn't just that he didn't want her romantically, he didn't want her in his life at all. He's off her. Made his choice. Clearly having found her replacement. So she would do the same. Hudson, she decided, with all his fair features and beaming smiles would be her new Kai. He didn't get her the way the former boy did, but no one did. No one ever would. But he would do. Because he was a good time, a good guy, she decided and most importantly he desired her company. Kai wasn't the only one who could move on.

Getting her bearings, she swipes at her eyes–because yes, she'd started to cry. Ugh, this was embarrassing, thank God no one was around to witness it. At least she could relish in that fact.

Evening her breaths, she picks herself from off the ground. No more would she cry over this boy who clearly didn't give a sh*t about her. Needing to pull herself together, she heads to the restroom, fixes her makeup and when she emerges, it's like her whole melt down never happened. She doesn't head straight to the dance though. She knows her date is probably seconds from coming to find her but that doesn't stop her from heading inside one of the empty classrooms, needing to hide away for a bit. She couldn't stand the thought of being around other people right now because then she'd have to pretend. Plaster on a fake smile and affect the forever cheerful cheerleader persona that she's perfectly crafted these past few weeks. The persona that's won her her Homecoming crown, that shy girl a thing of the past.

Flicking on the light, she perches herself on the edge of whomever taught this class desk, sighing wearily, her fingers gripping at the sides, teeth sinking down into her bottom lip, dreading having to ever go back in there.

She wished so badly to open her rideshare app and lyft it out of here. She's been crowned already, there really was no reason for her to stay. Except, your date drove hundreds of miles out here just to be with you, asshole. Her inner self is right, ditching Hudson, it's disgusting to have even considered the thought. The notion was completely selfish and yet the thought of suffering through the rest of the evening, having to watch Kai hands explore Anna's body was enough to make her pull out her phone, finger hovering over the app, contemplating.

But before she could go through with opening the app, the sound of a creaking door grabs her attention. Her eyes immediately jerk in its direction, taking in the tall form entering through.

Damon Salvatore.

Bonnie's eyes squint, wondering what he's doing roaming the halls. Why wasn't he in the gym like everyone else? Well, to be fair, he could ask her the same thing.

"Damon" she says, sounding like she wasn't sure if that was even his name.

He laughs, noticing as well. And for some reason this irks at her, because behind the velvety sound was threads of superiority. Like it brought him immense satisfaction to know he'd unsettled her. "What are you doing in here?" he asks, his eyes reflecting a copious amount of amusem*nt in his brightly colored depths.

That humorous look on his face has her mood souring, so she spits, her dark eyes narrowing on his amused ones, "What are you doing in here?" effectively flipping the question around on him, over being startled and back to being her normal fiery self around him.

"Restroom" he answers and she's surprised he doesn't press her on the fact that she completely dodged his question, "Saw the light." He gestures upward at the ceiling with his she's sure, insured limb. "Thought I'd stumbled upon two people f*cking but no it's just you" There goes that sickening smirk of his, prompting her nausea to reemerge.

"Unfortunately. Sorry to disappoint" she voices smartly, not commenting on why he'd want to interrupt such a thing in the first place. He'd probably prayed it was two girls fooling around, hoping to join in on the fun.

He ignores her sass, eyes flashing with mild curiosity, "Shouldn't you be celebrating? You just won Homecoming Queen" he prompts, getting back to the reason why she wasn't off in the gymnasium with the rest of their peers.

"And you didn't win anything" she slings at him because she knows bringing up the fact that he lost to Matt would grind his gears. Damon was the most arrogant bastard she knew, losing Homecoming King to someone less popular than him would probably eat at him for weeks. But it was fitting though, in Bonnie's opinion he shouldn't be in the running considering he'd won last year but since Caroline overturned the rule that stated if a candidate won the prior year they weren't eligible to be in the running the following year, a rule that has been honored since before her grams attended Mystic Falls High, but leave it to Caroline and her ego to change a century old regulation, just so she could say she had two crowns. What a wasted effort that was though being her plan got shot to sh*t when the entire school turned on her. What's funny though is she made fun of Bonnie for being a nobody but she was less than that now. At least being a nobody you weren't on anyone's radar, you could skate through school undetected which had its perks most days being you weren't constantly gossiped about. Caroline on the other hand had gone from Queen Bee to Mystic Falls most hated, she was alienated and detested by almost the entire class. A castoff. Karma couldn't be more sweeter. Petty she knows but the girl brought it on herself.

"The votes were clearly tampered with" he intones the words with a light air but Bonnie doesn't miss the bitterness flashing in his pupils.

To play on that emotion, she points out cheerily, "Or people don't like you as much as you think they do"

His eyes narrow on her, turns all inquisitive and was that slivers of hurt reflecting in his dark pupils?

"You really hate me, don't you?" his eyes narrow in on hers waiting for her reply.

"I don't hate anyone Damon," she remarks, clipping her words a bit because it's true. Even with the despicable things he's done in the past she doesn't harbor the vile emotions for him like he thinks she does. Honestly, she felt sorry for him. To be so unhappy with his life that he felt the only way to make himself feel better was to pick on others, what a pathetic existence.

"I just extremely dislike you"

He nods like he gets it. "Right, because I "bullied" your bestie.."

A slight frown works its way across her brow, co*cking her head just slightly, she says bewilderment lacing her tone. "Why are you using air quotes? This isn't alleged, you actually did those things" she points out heatedly, feeling an ember starting to flare from the pit of her gut burning out all the bile that was coating her insides before, "In which you've never told me why."

He stares at her but doesn't provide any answers. She doesn't expect any really because why would Damon be honest about anything ever? But she is curious so she throws out anyway, her arms folding over one another, eyes flickering over his angular face, "Tell me, what do you have against him?"

He locks his jaw then looks away from her, avoiding her penetrating gaze. A frown forms at her mouth, feels the divot etching between her brows. "Tell me" And when he still doesn't answer. "Please"

This word should never be uttered to him because ugh but she's desperate. This went far beyond mere curiosity at this point. She needed him to explain things to her like she was a toddler so she gets it. Though, she knew no reason would ever suffice because Kai, as sharp tongued and prickly as he could be, he was a good person. Though he hated anyone to know it. Which made him even more desirable if she was honest.

Ugh, stop.

The word has him peering at her again, obviously not expecting the soft utterance, the plea wrapping around each letter that spills from her lips. She was always whipping insults at himwith bullet like precision that the softness of her tone, that cajoling word betraying the hard demeanor she readily erects for him startles the football star. He watches her for a long measured moment, his pale blue irises flickering over her she's sure, open expression before he says, his confident swagger completely void in the moment, his words almost reluctant, "You look at him differently than everyone else"

"Of course I do, he's my best friend" she shoots out automatically. Though she's not sure if Kai is her best friend anymore. He's basically disowned her.

With good reason..

He shakes his head like she's said something wrong. "You look at him the way I want you to look at me," his jewel-like eyes are soft on her. The vulnerability in its depths a first time for him. It's a rare sighting to see him let his guard down like this. He was always playing the tough guy or super suave casanova persona. "The way I've always wanted you to look at me"

Her eyes round at the confession.

"You're jealous of him" comes out the breathy response. She's shocked, really. Damon Salvatore with all his money and good looks and charm could probably get any girl he wanted was jealous of Kai, the emo kid from the wrong side of the tracks.

Bonnie knew Kai was superior to Damon in every way imaginable but other than her core group of friends no one else would agree with those sentiments. It probably killed him that someone he considered beneath him could easily have something he could never get. But also something doesn't feel right with his answer. She doesn't think he's lying per se, in fact, she knows he isn't. That vulnerable look that flashed over his face when the confession tumbled from his lips couldn't be faked but she does think it's a half truth. He's leaving something out. And it must be really something if this was the lesser of the two confessions. Because lets be honest, he hated Kai, it had to kill him to admit he was jealous of the other boy, which meant whatever he was holding back was something big. Something he obviously wasn't going to reveal, so she leaves it.

But also why isn't she denying this? She'd practically admitted Damon was right with his assumption with her response, that she looks at Kai the way she's never looked at any other boy. With affection. Love..

She doesn't know if she should be mortified or well, mortified.

He opens his mouth to speak but the door creaking open interrupts whatever Damon was about to confess or deny for the matter.

Both of their eyes fly towards the entryway. Her date with a damn near scowl on his face is strolling in all hard eyes and tight jaw. Because yeah, this didn't look good at all, her alone in a room with another guy. To be frank, it looked sketchy as f*ck. Especially since she's been missing for a hot minute.

"Here you are, I was looking for you" Despite the irritation flaring in his pupils his voice sounds concerned. He bypasses Damon but not before shooting the other boy a, 'I see you' glare. Once he's settled in front of her, he places a possessive hand around her waist, pulling her closer to him. He clearly wants Damon to know that Bonnie was his. Except, she isn't.. She made sure to let him know when he offered to be her date that they were going as friends. She thought he understood that. Apparently not.

Bonnie paints on a practiced smile, something she's grown used to doing, to her it feels strained but she knows it hardly presented that way to others, she's that good. She eyes him, the act probing, he clearly had thoughts in his head about her and Damon judging by this display of territorialism just now. But not just Hudson, Bonnie could tell by the way Damon's eyes are icing over that he didn't like Hudson touching her. Which, the nerve. Did he actually think he had a shot with her? The utter delusion.

Bonnie wonders if she should feel irritation or amusem*nt as both boys glare at each other as if she belonged to either of them.

The moment the sizing up each other is over, the quarterback is saying albeit reluctantly, introducing himself to her date, "Damon"

Hudson simply nods, not offering up his own name in exchange. He was clearly in his feelings. But there was no need to be, she wasn't even remotely interested in Damon.

The blue-eyed jock directs his attention back to Bonnie completely dismissing the blonde boy, "We're having a celebration at Tylers afterwards, you should come" You should come, she notes the intention behind the phrasing. He was clearly pointedly not inviting Hudson. Oh, these petty boys..

"And what are you celebrating, your non win? Or are we talking about the almost Homecoming Queen title that was so unfairly ripped out of your grasp?" She throws out to pile on to the pettiness being thrown around. She was just mentally scolding Kai for his little prank earlier now she was being just as bad, trying to work Damon's nerves.

"Don't be like that, Bon Bon," he smirks at her, letting her insults roll off him like water and she feels her teeth grind at the use of the nickname. He always used it when he wanted to grate her nerves, knowing how much she hated it coming from him. "I'm speaking of Matt clearly. You should know when one of us win, it's a win for us all"

And she would believe that if it wasn't for that bitter resentment flashing in his pupils again.

"I'm good" she clips out in response to the invite, giving him the fakest smile she can muster.

His grin grows wider, not letting her refusal to party with him affect his mood. Because why would he be sweating her when there were so many other girls that wouldn't dare turn down his offer?

"Suit yourself" There's a passive display in the way he lifts his shoulders in a shrug but Bonnie's not believing the careless gesture even for a second, because he cared, he cared a lot.

And then like that, it's only her and Hudson in the classroom.

"What was that about?" The inquiry comes before the door could even finish closing shut.

He doesn't sound mad, just extremely curious.

She sighs because what was she going to say? 'I was seriously thinking about ditching you here but then the bully of the guy that I love walked in and thwarted those plans by confessing how much he liked me despite how in love I am with my best friend.' Instead, she responds with, allowing the words to tumble out peppily, "You ready to get back to the dance?"

How she gets away with such deflection she doesn't know. Instead of holding her feet to the fire, a mischievous glint enters his eyes, he sidles up closer and she doesn't even flinch away. She's such a good actor.

"We could" he pretends to consider and his eyes grow even more impish, smile more wicked, "Or we could go somewhere private" he presents, enticingly.

Stay at the dance and subject herself to more of Anna's non too subtle seduction of her best friend? Or get the hell out of here?

It wasn't even a choice.

"We gotta get lit first" is what he relays, flashing a wicked smile at her before supplying her with copious amounts of alcohol and a little pill with a smiley face on it.

She frowns, examining the pill closely, then asks, green eyes flicking up at him, wonderingly, "What is it?"

"Ecstasy" he says, like it's nothing at all. Like it was a completely normal occurrence for him to pop pills like it was candy. It does sort of look like candy though, like a f*cking sweet tart. She could see how appealing it could be to kids her age.

"What does it do?" she asks, her questioning eyes flickering up at him, who's taken it upon himself to rolling up a spliff. She doesn't know much about drugs, her good girl image wasn't just for show, she really was lame, never having experienced even a joint before. The most she's ever done was drink alcohol. The only thing she knew about drugs was that they were bad according to all the numerous adults who preached sobriety to them but also hesitant to introduce illegal substances to her body, especially ones she knew was most likely made in someone's trailer.

He smirks at her like he thought it was cute how inexperienced she was, like she'd be fun to corrupt. "Just what the name suggests." he answers, taking a pull of his spliff then expelling the toxic smoke into the air. "It brings on a feeling of ecstasy. Euphoria" he draws the last word out enticingly.

But that isn't necessary. He doesn't need to convince her. All she needed to hear was euphoria and she was sold. Because God did she need that right now. It's been a bad day in a sea of bad days, of feeling like utter sh*t. She needed something to take the edge off. Something to make her forget about her slu*tty f*cking mom, her best friend who no longer wanted anything to do with her, the pressure of school, of getting into a good college, the strain cheerleading was putting on all of her relationships. She doesn't want to think about any of that right now. She just wants the feeling of euphoria to wash over her, even if only for a minute.

She pops the pill, chasing it down with Jose Cuervo. His drugs of choice is marijuana and co*ke. Apparently, the combination was chefs kiss according to him. Smoking weed and popping party drugs was one thing but snorting chemicals up her nose, especially one so addicting is where she drew the line.

The feeling she's been craving doesn't hit immediately, it sneaks up on her. She hadn't started feeling the effects until they were well on their way to their destination.

Their destination? The Falls. She doesn't know why she takes him there. That's a lie. She'd wanted to get back at Kai for flaunting his girlfriend and in what better way to do that then take the boy who wants to f*ck her to his sacred place. He'd probably never forgive her for such an offense. Exactly what she wants. So in her rebellious state, she'd taken his keys from him, putting pedal to the medal in his little red sports car. He's hooting and hollering beside her, egging her on, to go faster, his hand inching up her thigh as she flies down the road. She has to admit she likes this version of herself. It was far better than the lame-good little girl-follow the rules-Bonnie.

She mounts him when they get to their destination, needing to feel his hands on her, the effects of the drug spreading throughout her limbs, turning her into a little nympho. God she was horny. She hikes up her homecoming gown, laying sloppy kisses on him. He doesn't mind the lack of finesse, matching her enthusiasm, saying between kisses, "You're so f*cking hot. Seriously, you're blowing my mind right now. I didn't know you could get like this. I like it" he growls.

All she could do is giggle like a gushing school girl and kiss him some more.

Until a knock sounds on the window that is. She hadn't even heard anyone approaching, that's how zoned in she was on her seduction.

The feeling of euphoria is ripped away by the sound of a gruff voice.

"Get out" she looks up, matching the face to the voice.

Bonnie blinks at the person staring them down on the pavement.

And when the shock has worn off, she rolls the window down, peers at her best friend's scowling face. His expression burning through her skin.

"Kai, what are you doing here? Did you follow us here?" she lets out confused, not sounding like herself. It was the X slurring her words, lightening up the syllables to where they came out slightly airy.

And because of this, she doesn't sound half as irritated as she feels. Because why the f*ck was Kai here ruining her high? It just figures, it was like he lived to rain on her parade lately. But also shouldn't he be at the dance letting Anna molest him? She'd gotten away from the dance specifically to get away from him. To get away from that. She'd come here to feel better, she knew Hudson could provide the release she needed. He's been eyeing her all night like he wants to know what she tastes like and she was prepared to let him. So again, why was Kai here? She's still trying to connect the dots when a memory flashes through her mind. Remembering how she saw someone behind her on the road but at the time she'd been too busy feeding the adrenaline coursing her veins to truly care who it was.

"Bonnie, get out of the car" his eyes darkening around the edges, he's clenching his jaw like it's a struggle for him to even remain calm right now. Like it's a courtesy.

"Are you craz-"

But she doesn't get to finish her thought because the door is being flung open in a rush of movement and before she knows it she's out of the car and balancing her wobbly limbs on earth, watching as he drags Hudson out of the Porsche and slinging him on the ground like a f*cking rag doll.

"YOU LET HER DRIVE DRUNK?!" Kai flings at the other boy or blares really, venom coating every surface of his words, face full of thunder. His footfalls getting menacingly closer as he approaches her date who's groaning on the ground at colliding with it at such a harsh impact. He's probably all types of disoriented, the weed, the cocaine, the liquor..

Not done, he bends down, gets in the other boy's face, snatches him up by the shirt, his own visage twisted up gnarly with copious amounts of rage and disgust and before she knows it, Kai's fist is snapping back and then crashing into the other boy's face. She hears a crunch and winces.

"The f*ck were you thinking?! She could have killed herself!" he rages some more, lips twisting in a snarl, sounding completely unhinged. The volatile darkness in his expression making her shiver. She's never heard him sound so belligerent before. Witnessed such unbridled rage from him. Even with Damon he's never been so murderous. Bonnie notices how Kai hadn't said she could have killed the both of you. Making it known he clearly doesn't give a sh*t about Hudson's life one bit.

He's about to hit Hudson again but Bonnie steps forward or flies forward rather, managing to stop him before he could go off on a murderous rampage. Because she knew once he got started, he wouldn't stop. She's witnessed too many of his fights. She knows it will take the jaws of life to pry him from Hudson once he's really gotten started. But Hudson's death wouldn't be on her hands, "Stop!" she screams, grabbing at him, at his sinewy arms. But he's way stronger than he looks. She can't for the life of her pull him off the other boy, it's like trying to wrangle in a bull. She didn't know how much strength he possessed until this moment. She's always known he could fight, being bullied early on in his childhood has taught him how to be scrappy, morphed him into the seasoned fighter he was. This though, this ironclad grip he has on the other boy, she isn't expecting. It all makes sense now, all the black eyes he's caused in the past, busted lips, why he's always jumped and not fought one on one. Kai was lethal. She's genuinely starting to worry about her date's life when she feels it, the relaxing of his muscles beneath her touch. Maybe it's her pleas or the fact that he registers that it's her who's touching him right now, whatever the case, he finally lets go of the teen.

Kai gets up and immediately paces the pavement, expression feral, his fists balled at his sides like he's unsure of his decision to let up. She doesn't like the way his eyes keep darting back to Hudson like he wants to finish what he's started.

So she storms up to him, feeling rage tunnel her veins, the emotion starting to consume her. The effects of the drugs has completely evaporated from her but violence tend to have that affect on any situation, "What the f*ck is wrong with you?!" she gets in his face, yelling at the top of her lungs. "You broke his nose!" she flings an angry limb toward Hudson who's finally starting to get up, blood leaking from his nose like the waterfall that was just beyond the pines.

"He's lucky that's all I did" Kai grits out, eyes coating with venom.

Bonnie is about to speak but attention is stolen away by Hudson's approaching form. Her head jerks up, barely manages to step out of the way before his form is charging past her, bum rushing Kai. But her BFF is too quick for the future Harvard grad, he pivots just before Hudson can get hold of him. The action has the class president losing sense of his equilibrium causing him to stumble forward. Kai sends him on his way to the pavement by shoving a boot into the other boy's backside.

Bonnie's at his side before he could do any more damage to Hudson's face. Because she knew what was next, rearranging her date's pretty face even further. With all her strength, she pulls at his biceps in an attempt to drag him away from the other boy. Again, his strength rivals that of Thor therefore she doesn't manage to move him an inch but she doesn't have to because he hears her silent plea, dropping his fist. He stands. It's a moment before he faces her. And when he finally makes eye contact with her he looks disappointed.

She nearly scoffs, indignant. Because really? He was the one who just mangled a boy's face and he has the nerve to peer at her like she let him down? The gall.

"Why are you doing this?" he flings at her, his black lined eyes all narrowed and accusing. "You want attention? Is that what you want?" Her mouth plops open and that pitying look she saw from him at the falls that day he dropped the news about her mom is on his face again. "You're spiraling Bonnie. Can't you see?"

She huffs out a laugh. "The nerve of you." is spit out, while she tosses him the darkest of glares. And then reels herself in. She wasn't going to do this with him, wasn't going to allow him to chastise her. He didn't get to when he's responsible for her spiraling. So she ends the convo by ordering of him, "Go home, Kai"

He laughs a bitter laugh, the sound scratching against her eardrums.

"You're even drunker than I imagined if you think I'm going to let you leave with him" he comments, looking at her with disgusted pupils.

Let her? So he owned her now?

Her nostrils flare out at him thinking he had any say in what she could and couldn't do. Gritting out her next words, she commands, "Just leave me alone"

Annoyance flashes across his brow. He shakes his head, approaching her now, his steps are slow but determined. "No, you're leaving with me" he says it like she has no other option, which fuels the fire raging within her.

Shaking her head, she backs away from him and her date–who she's only been vaguely aware of as he managed to pull himself off the ground while she got it out with Kai–is approaching the blue eyed boy and Bonnie has it in mind to intervene again before more violence could ensue. She absolutely detested it, such an unnecessary act. So barbaric. They weren't neanderthals, conflict could be resolved without beating the sh*t out of each other. Why couldn't these simple minded boys understand that?

She moves to place a hand on Hudson's chest but he slips out of her grasp easily, "She's not going anywhere with you" his voice is stone, eyes filled with malice.

"Dude, you do not want to speak to me right now." Kai warns, a dark note to his voice, his eyes own hardening as he peers at the other boy. Hudson is steadily approaching, his gaze blistering and panic flares within her. She manages to grab hold of his dress shirt, tugging him back, but he's not stopping, determination strengthening his strides. Kai doesn't look fearful in the least at his approaching form. Hudson has at least twenty pounds on Kai, his muscles more visible to the human eye. Kai had a runner's physique, clear muscles but hardly threatening. If Bonnie didn't know either guy her bets would be on Hudson. He looks the most physically fit, like he worked out daily which he probably did being he was an athlete or had been. Having quit his school's lacrosse team in order to focus on his academics. Kai's physique was deceiving, as lean as those muscles were, they were a force to be reckoned with. "The only reason you're not dead right now is because of her" he says, chin chucking Bonnie's way.

Totally the wrong thing to say.

Hudson gets loose and genuine fear clambers in her chest. He's in front of Kai before she could even blink. She watches as he throws back a punch but Kai being as scrappy as he is is dodging the blow before it could land and then he's throwing one of his own. The sound his fist makes after connecting with Hudson's jaw is like a wrecking ball colliding with brick. She winces as the Virginia Beach native head snaps back at the impact and then he's floundering desperately searching for purchase before ultimately crashing into the ground.

Kai's generous, he doesn't descend upon the boy and go to work, taking advantage of his helplessness. He just stands there watching the blonde with flat eyes as he collects his bearings and gets back up. He even goes as far as allowing Hudson to get a hit in once he's back on his feet. And Bonnie knows this because his face was diabolical like he relished in the pain. She even thinks she sees a little twitch in his lips, the faint sound of a chuckle but then his digits are grabbing hold of the older boy and he's got him in some kind of twisted headlock, ramming his knee into the ex athlete's chest, ram after powerful ram. Hudson expels out a grunt or two, his hold loosening on Kai. When the pink haired boy has gotten his fill in, he lets go, shoving Hudson on the ground like he's nothing. She thinks he's finally done but he storms up to the teen, hovering just over his near lifeless form, his boot lifting in the air like he's about to crush it into Hudson's skull but Bonnie with lightning speed is there crouching on the ground, throwing her hand out as a shield to the beaten boy beneath her. "Stop!" she yells at her friend who doesn't even appear to be her friend anymore. This person standing before her all flaring nose, foaming at the mouth for more blood was a stranger.

His eyes flick to her, a muscle working in his jaw, chest heaving up and down, eyeing her, she's sure, distraught countenance. There's a moment there where she thinks he won't back down but then his eyes flick away, popping his jaw in annoyance, boot lowering to the earth.

She takes this moment to help Hudson up.

He's heavy. She tries not to grunt as he leans most of his weight on her, her eyes never leaving Kai because she doesn't trust him to not make another move, but he doesn't. Instead, he turns away from her, giving her his back, his shoulders moving up and down as he takes in deep heaving breaths. He's furious. Even Stevie Wonder could see that. But she doesn't give a sh*t. His crazy ass could burn in the emotion.

"You're f*cking crazy" the blonde spews Kai's way when he's on his feet again as if reading her mind, hard lines etching his features. Other than his clear broken nose and bruised ribs by the way he's gripping at his ribcage, he doesn't seem to be too badly mangled. Kai hadn't completely obliterated him which means he had been holding back. Was this for her sake? And then his previously flung words are flashing in her mind, The only reason you're not dead right now is because of her. She definitely was the determining factor as to why his teeth weren't currently littering the ground. He would need to go to the hospital of course but otherwise he'd live.

Immediately, Kai whips around, eyes flashing with cold fury. "I'm crazy?" he laughs, a cynical curve to his lips, he's pointing to himself, eyes wild, almost maniacal. And then directing an accusing finger at Hudson, "You let her get behind the wheel intoxicated and you're questioning my sanity?"

"Yeah, I am because why are you even following us?" snarls her date, blinking rapid fire at Kai. He's highly pissed but he doesn't make any move to strike again. Clearly self preservation outweighed his ego. Good.

"The fact that you think you can question me about anything is hilarious" Kai is saying, condescension heavy in his tone.

Hudson blinks at him, shaking his head, his expression nebulous. "I don't have time for this. You clearly are off your rocker. And I don't argue with crazy people. Bonnie, lets go" He swings his eyes back at Bonnie, expectant.

She doesn't like how he'd ordered it of her but she also knows not leaving right now could present an opportunity for another fight to commence. But before she could even make a move towards him, Kai is saying, jaw clenching hard, eyes turning black, "She's not going anywhere with you now or anytime in the foreseeable future for the matter. Now go back to Virginia Beach or wherever the f*ck youre from before I change my mind about not killing you"

And then his eyes are on Bonnie, pinning her with a hard look but also disappointment reflects heavily in his blue irises again, "I'm taking you home. You think you can sober up before then?"

Bonnie's been sober, a full out brawl will do that to you.

A rush of anger sweeps through her at the dominance in his words, her eyes turning cold and steely, "I'm not going anywhere with you"

"You're not riding with him" he jerks his head to her date, his ice eyes relaying that was the last thing he would allow to happen.

"You don't get to tell her what to do" Hudson barks, eyes full of scorn.

"Do you wanna die?" Kai asks icily, his stare frigid and Bonnie jumps between the two before another fight can ensue.

"Stop it, okay. " she releases, her voice nearly shrill looking at the both of them before finally settling on her childhood friend, her tone begrudging, "I'll go with you" at this, his face relaxes a tinge. He hardly looks pacified though. His hands fly to her wrist to grab hold of her but she yanks it away, letting him know that he was the last person she wanted touching her.

"You can't be serious." Hudson is saying. He couldn't sound more indignant. "He's a nut job" he relays his hand slicing through the air at Kai. He's looking at her like she's lost her mind. And maybe she had. Kai just beat the crap out of her date. She should be scared of him. But she couldn't scroundrel up any fear. He would never hurt her, she knows this undoubtedly.

Bonnie eyes flick over her friend, taking in his bruised face and immediately her eyes soften. His nose has finally stopped pouring blood but there was no doubt about it, it was indeed broken. "Go." she encourages softly, silently begging him to let this go, Please leave with all your limbs still intact while you can. Because if Bonnie knew anything it was that Kai wasn't one to issue out multiple warnings.

"Get your nose checked out" she tells him, trying not to heave out a sigh as she takes in the once flawless feature which was now bloody and busted. It's quite the feat to not wince but she knows doing so would only humiliate him further.

His face falls at her words. He looks genuinely hurt by her decision to not leave with him. And she feels for him, she does, he's been manhandled by her so called best friend and on top of that she was seemingly taking the side of the person who'd done the manhandling.

"Bonnie-" he starts but she cuts in, holding up a hand, "I'm good, I promise." she tells him, nodding her assurance. She needs him to know he has nothing to worry about. Yes, Kai was dangerous right now. Just not with her. "I'll call you later" she promises, forcing a small smile to soften the blow.

There's a long silence that proceeds, painfully so after they both settle inside the car, Hudson having left minutes ago. She can tell he didn't want to leave her with Kai but her soft eyes had pleaded with him to go. Begged him really. And he did. Eventually. She hoped he was heading straight to the ER. She'd hate to think about his possible injuries, an obvious shattered nose, his ribs had taken some damage. Kai's knees had ensured at least a few cracked ribs. And this was her best friend…

The air is spiked with enough indignation and impotent rage to light them aflame. She didn't dare look at him but she could tell from her peripheral he was literally shaking. Which, the nerve, she should be the one bristling mad here. He acted like a crazy person, like someone who needed to be locked away in an insane asylum, flinging Hudson around like he did. Storming around like a madman with that murderous face. Promising all kinds of retribution with a single look alone. The way he'd almost used his boot to smash in Hudson's skull if it hadn't been for her stopping him. She'd never seen him so enraged before. So livid. With Hudson, with her..

And it's apparent with the way he hadn't said a word since they've closed themself inside the cabin of his car. And she knows he wants to by the way he's strangling the steering wheel. She peeks at him, more like glares when it's clear he isn't going to speak, breaking this uncomfortably tense silence filling the atmosphere. She notes his walled shoulders, how the veins in his temples were visible, the flare of his nostrils, the way his teeth are clamped together and then there's that pulse in his jaw, that since she's been staring at him the tick count was now at six. She knows he can sense her orbs drilling into his temples. But he doesn't look at her. His eyes are peering out at the darkness ahead, fingers gripping tightly against the steering wheel. She's sure if he'd released its hold there would be indentions where his fingers had been.

What she saw tonight disgusted her. And she lets him know just this, breaking the strained silence, her voice ice cold and repulsed. "I can't believe you"

He finally looks at her, his gaze as hard as diamonds, his voice like chipped ice, "No, I can't believe you. Do you know how fast you were going back there?"

She doesn't get to answer because he does so for her, "A hundred miles an hour, Bonnie." his dark eyes, assaulting.

She blinks, stunned for a moment. Was she really going that fast?

No, of course not. He's exaggerating. Has to be.

His question though presents one of her own. "Were you following us?" her suspicious eyes peers at him and he scoffs at her, eyes frosting over.

"No, I was actually on my way here and guess who I see fly by me like speed f*cking racer?" he spits out, judgment in his eyes. There was a lot of that tonight. He said he would never judge her.

f*cking liar.

"I wasn't going that fast" she wants to keep that harsh tone she's been flinging at him since he's shown up here with murder on his mind but the answer comes out in a weak mumble. Because now that she thinks about it, she wasn't so sure he was exaggerating.

"You were," he growls out, sounding like a snarling animal. His gaze was so intense but not in a good way, the heated way boys looked at her these days. No, this was feral, like a rabid dog. Undomesticated and vicious. He's so f*cking mad. Incensed. Yeah, that was the word. He was filled with heaps of that. And even though the look he's giving her was filled with all kinds of abhorrence she couldn't look away. Even now blistering mad he pulled her in. "If you had hit even the slightest curve wrong.." And his eyes, they soften just a tad. She watches briefly as unchecked emotion flickers across his face before turning steely hard again, clipping out the remainder of his words with ice-like precision, "It could have been over for you. Do you get that?" His eyes thinning at her, brows bunching, fury rolling off of him in waves.

And then her gaze does flick away because f*ck him. He didn't get to judge her. He was far from perfect. Her date's beaten face proof of that.

Silence thuds down of them again when she refuses to answer. It goes on for such an uncomfortably long time that he has no choice but to speak because it damn sure wasn't going to be her.

"Please tell me you at least had on a seat belt?" And there goes those elegant fingers asphyxiating the steering wheel again, clearly at the thought of her being so reckless. He looks like he's struggling to keep his composure.

When the silence from her cements his thoughts, he chuckles bitterly, jaw flexing. "So basically you had a death wish?" his glare is heavy on her face and she wants nothing more than to slap him. How dare him give her the third degree? Like he cares so much. If he did he wouldn't have abandoned her.

"You can save the protective older brother act, I'm not interested in hearing it. When you become innocent in all this then we can talk" she says, irritation flaring.

"Oh, I'm sorry," he finally releases hold of the steering wheel, his hands going up in a gesture of fake surrender. "Are you mad I marred your boyfriend's pretty face? Sorry for being pissed about someone having such blatant disregard for your life that they'd let you practice for the Indy 500 under the influence of alcohol"

He keeps mentioning alcohol. Not drugs, she notes. He must have no idea of the sh*t she's taken tonight. He would have probably killed Hudson if he did.

She keeps her mouth zipped about that little detail, no need to rile the beast. "It's not his fault, okay? I took his keys. I'm the one who wanted to come out here" she explains with muted rage.

He gives her a flat look the way he does when he deems someone an idiot. "You're 5'2 Bonnie, a hundred pounds soaking wet. If he wanted to get his keys back from you, he could have"

And if you wanted me to not go on an alcoholic bend you wouldn't have ignored me..

"Why did you bring him out here?" the question sounds innocuous but she knows better.

She knows what he's really asking. He wants to know what was going to happen had he not showed up. She doesn't get it though, she knows he saw the make out session they were having before he interrupted their fun. "Were you going to f*ck him?" he lets out between gritted teeth, a tight set if his jaw, his wintry gaze holding hers, not letting up one bit. "The both of you drunk out of your minds. Is that really how you wanted your first time to be?"

She feels the burn of tears beginning to well in her eyes, effectively chastised. She makes sure to divert them, peering out of the passenger window.

Of course this wasn't the scenario she thought of when it came to losing her virginity. In the passenger seat of a tiny sports car with a guy she barely knows, the smell of marijuana infiltrating the air as they rut away like animals. In a perfect world, it would happen in a bed, on expensive silk sheets, surrounded by rose petals with the guy of her dreams which unfortunately was the same guy making her feel like sh*t right now.

"Why do you care about the way I lose my virginity?" It takes everything to keep her voice strong when all it wants to do is waiver at the emotions rushing through her. "Assuming I am still a virgin. Who's to say I haven't lost it already? Maybe I gave it up to him weeks ago"

Her words have silence bracketing the small cabin of his car. He's so utterly quiet for the longest while that it alarms her. She wants to look at him but is afraid he'll see the tears that have spilled over and are now wetting her cheeks. And then she'll have to explain why they're there.

"Did you?" he finally says, his voice quiet, questioning, all notes of anger zapped from his tone. The cabin of his car suddenly filled with anxious anticipation.

The thought that he needed to know so badly has her clipping out coldly, "Its none of your business"

A beat. "Tell me you didn't" his voice is almost agonized.

And she makes a mistake, she looks at him, and then watches as his face twists in horror. "Are you crying?" He reaches out to touch her sodden cheeks but she jerks her head away from his touch but not before snapping at him, "Don't touch me"

"I'm sorry" He pulls back immediately, eyes flickering over her features, his gaze filled with anxious worry. "Just" he goes on, shutting his eyes briefly, looking like he's trying to remain calm. "Just..answer me please" And then they're peeling back open, she'd thought she'd see some semblance of control back in his features but he still looks just as tortured.

Her eyes sharpen on him. "Why? You going to look at me differently now?" she smiles angrily, eyes flashing at him. "What? Shy little timid Bonnie can't do all the things other girls get to do? Like have an actual sex life." It was such bullsh*t how everyone saw her. So innocent. So pure. It probably disgusts him to think of her in that way. Why else is he looking like he wants to vomit?

"Of course not." he breathes out, sounding tired, scrubbing a weary hand down his face. It's a moment before he pulls himself together. Swallowing hard, he releases, his voice less tense then it was before, "Just tell me, please. He didn't like pressure you or anything?"

"No, of course not." she whips at him. "We didn't go that far if you must know" she finally admits. She was being stingy with the details before because she thought maybe it would inspire some jealousy out of him. Yes, at a time like this.. after he just busted her date's nose, ordered her around like he was her owner, she was still desperate for him to want her. And he hadn't still which was the saddest part of it all. He was just being protective.

His sigh of relief he expels couldn't be any louder.

She continues on, resentment coating each word that is spewed out, "Your little sis is still a virgin. You don't have to kill anyone just yet"

He sighs again, long and suffering and when the words come, they're filled with agitation and an emotion she can't identify, "Don't do that. Don't call yourself my little sister. We're not family"

No they weren't but that doesn't change the fact that that's how he sees her. His feelings for her will always be familial. And it ate at her. Corroded her insides like the most aggressive type of cancer.

"Whatever" she mutters, bitterness layering her tone at the fact that she'll never be the one he wants.

He sighs for the umpteenth time tonight. It's drawn out, beyond weary. He lets his head fall against the headrest. Closes his eyes shut. She can't help but watch him, at how exhausted he looks. He told her he was already on his way here when he spotted her whipping past him in Hudson's Porsche. She wanted to ask him why he was headed here to begin with. He only came here for the most part when he was pissed and needed to reflect. And where was Anna? Did something happen? Could they have broken up? Is that what he needed to reflect over? Disgust fills her because why had that thought sent a glimmer of hope through her just now? God when did she become so terrible? Praying on the downfall of his relationship. Not caring one iota if hearts were shattered here, long as it wasn't hers.

He finally comes to, his eyes blinking open and then he's turning to face her, his gaze briefly flicking down to her hand, his own twitching on his jean clad thigh like he wants to grab hold of it. He refrains though, peeks back up at her with soft pupils then lets her know, "You can talk to me about anything, you know? I'll never judge you"

Right. What was that sh*t earlier then? She itches to say. Instead, she tells him, venom not absent from her tone, "I don't want to talk to you at all. Just take me home"

Homecoming Queen or Drama Queen? Is the post she's greeted with when she opens her Chattr app Monday morning after second period as she idles beside her locker, the post having just come in ten minutes before second period had ended. Bonnie had been chomping at the bit, practically bouncing in her seat ready for the bell to ring just so she could finally tear out of there and open up the app. And instead of gathering her books like she should be doing, she's lounging on her locker, teeth sunk into her bottom lip, eyes flicking over her phone screen, stomach clenching tight because she knows what was in store if the daunting title was anything to go by. She would be completely obliterated.

Sucking in a bracing breath, she blocks out the chatter from her classmates as she continues to read on.

Apparently, the newly crowned Homecoming Queen served up a bit of drama after parting the festivities last Saturday. While everyone was still celebrating the team's win at the dance, our new Queen Bee was living her best life. Until she wasn't. Her date, who'd driven down from Virginia Beach was left with a broken nose after getting into it with her bestie of a decade, the ever affable, Kai Parker. The delinquent had apparently found issue with the Virginia Beach native when the blonde had allowed the cheerleader to drive his Porsche under the influence, resulting the outsider with a busted nose. Sweet right? Except, word around school is this has nothing to do with taking a stance against drunk driving and more to do with unbridled jealousy. Tell us Chattrs, what do you think? Homecoming Queen or Drama Queen? Psycho or sweetie pie? Let us know in the comments!

Bonnie knows she shouldn't read the comments. She does anyway.

Danny Desai says: What a psycho!

Vicki Donovan says: Where can I get a guy like this? (Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes ) #RealMenStandUp

Chanel Oberlin says: Can u say unhinged?

Jesenia Ramirez says: He totally loves this girl. It's so sweet! (Purple Heart ) (Purple Heart ) (Purple Heart ) #BonKai #Cuties

Amara Sayed says: Assaulting someone will never be cute..

Spencer Hastings says: Why is no one talking about the alleged drunk driving? (Thinking Face ) She could have killed someone..

Damon Salvatore says: But when I said this guy was batsh*t, no one believed me.. (Confounded Face ) #CrackIsWhack #ViolenceIsWhack

ZayDay Williams says: @Amara Sayed Disagree, if a guy isn't willing to knock a dude out for me, I don't want him! (Face With No Good Gesture ≊ Gesturing No)

Nora Hildegarde says: STFU@Damon Salvatore. Your piece of sh*t trash azz has no room to talk #ABullyRallyingAgainstViolence #WhatAJoke #SitDownShutUp

Aria Montgomery says: Such a disappointment #GoodGirlsDontDrinkAndDrive #WhatAPhony #BadGirlBonnie

Tyler Lockwood says: Imagine fighting over a chick

Caroline Forbes says: Look who's not so innocent *Gasps in dramatics*

Hanna Marin says: Her date is trash. Call an Uber jeez. (Face With Rolling Eyes )

April Young says: If Bonnie don't want Kai, I'll take him! (Face With Stuck-Out Tongue And Winking Eye )

Caleb Rivers says: Met the guy. Stand up dude. He should have put his foot down!

Anonymous7195 says: No better than Caroline #ButThisYallGirlRight

Ben Mckittrick says: But but but but we're friends..

Mona Vanderwaal says: @Anna Zhu This your dude? (Grimacing Face )

Santana Lopez says:@Mona Vanderwall Right? I would be so embarrassed if I was Anna. Can't even get Kai to claim her and yet he's knocking out dudes for his "bestie" (Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Tightly-Closed Eyes ) (Face With Tears Of Joy ) (Face With Tears Of Joy )

Jeremy Gilbert says: @Ben Mckittrick Shut up rapist

Violet Fell says: And this is why she is Queen. (Crown ) #BowDownBitches (Person Bowing Deeply ≊ Person Bowing)

Regina Crane says: Her dude is hot af not gonna lie, sucks he's a little bitch tho

Lacey Porter says: Violence is not the answer

Enzo St. John says: @Lacey Porter Violence is always the answer

Alison DiLaurentis says: Both guys are way too hot for her

Tiki Johnson says: @Alison DiLaurentis It's giving racists

Bonnie: Who did you tell?

Is her text to her friend in third period, unable to wait until lunch to get answers on how anyone even knew about her fun filled weekend.

Elena: ?

Bonnie rolls her eyes and texts out with furious fingers.

Bonnie: I'm talkin about Kai breaking Hudson's nose. There's a post on Chattr. I only told you about it, Elena..

Her friend's response comes right away.

Elena: I swear I didn't tell anybody!

Bonnie glances up, making sure her teacher is still turned towards the whiteboard as he writes out mathematical equations that she's sure to keep them busy for the rest of the period.

Satisfied she won't get caught texting in class and potentially getting her phone confiscated, she speedily types out her response,

Bonnie: R u sure?

Elena: Yes, I wouldn't do that. Kai must've said something to someone

Jeremy Bonnie comes to the conclusion as she glances up again, making sure she's still in the clear to use her phone.

Bonnie: Ur cousin I'm sure. I swear he gossips more than girls *angry emoji*

Elena: He really does *rolling eye emoji* I'm sorry babe. Did you get with principal Saltzman abt it? Maybe he can get them to take it down..

Bonnie is about to respond but her teacher is turning around to peek at his guidebook. It's thirty whole seconds before he's turning back around to finish his task.

Bonnie: I can't go to him..there's allegations abt me driving drunk. I cld get in trouble. Serious trouble. What if my parents hear abt it? They'll nvr trust me ever again. My grandfather is the freakin sheriff, Elena. Do u kno how embarrassing this cld b for him? How can he expect any1 to abide by the laws around here if his own family refuses to?

Elena: Calm down. I'll contact Chattr, c if they'll take it down.

Bonnie: Ty

Elena: Ofc. I got ur back!

Of course her parents get wind of the post. She tried her best to lie, blamed it on silly gossip but they didn't believe her, commenting about how everything checks with how upset she'd been that evening. Because of course Bonnie couldn't shake the bad mood she'd been in when Kai dropped her off that night. The booze and drugs she could but when it came to acting like everything was peachy, she totally failed. They'd thought Hudson had done something to upset her, the reason her trusted bestie had dropped her off instead of the date who'd escorted her. Her dad promising all kinds of dismembering of limbs of the younger boy. For punishment they'd taken her car away for the rest of the year. Which was a shock to her, she's never been in trouble in her life.

Kai

Can you call me?

Today 5:42 PM
Pls talk to me..

Another text from Kai. They started after she hadn't answered any of his calls.

Kai

Pls talk to me..

Today 7:02 PM
Bon, we need to talk

I know you blame me as you should.

But give me a chance to apologize in person please

It's at cheerleading practice that following Thursday that they finally have a face to face. She guesses he's grown tired of her ignoring his text so he'd decided to take matters in his own hands. He shows up in the middle of her practice, doesn't cause a scene, attempt to pull her aside, none of that. Just sits there in the stands and watches her until she finally grows agitated at his blatant staring and waltzes up to him.

"What are you doing here?"

She parks herself right in front of him, folding her arms over her breast, co*cking a hip, jade eyes flickering over his solemn face. She doesn't think she's ever seen him look so sad. Not even at the height of his bullying did he look this defeated. Her fingers itches to touch him. She wants to reach out and pull the ends of his lips up so that he's no longer frowning but she reminds herself of what he's done, the reason she's mad at him, him going batsh*t on a guy and all thoughts on the matter evaporate.

"You need to leave" she orders, her tone finite.

She watches as his face falls at her words, this attempt she's made to dismiss him. But it doesn't last for long because another emotion is quickly replacing it. Desperation. Another emotion she's yet to see from him until now.

"Can we talk? Please. God, Bonnie..us not talking" He rakes a restless hand through his short dyed locks, expression agonized. "I feel like this has gone way too far."

She bites her lip, contemplating his words. Hates that she does because it provides an opening for him to worm himself back into her heart. But she had to admit, he was right. It had gone too far. Who knew one thoughtless comment would be the catalyst to the possible ending of their friendship? And now everything has snowballed into a gigantic sh*t show.

"Look, I'm sorry for everything" comes the earnest apology. And she takes a moment to examine his face, how his eyes are pleading, his face a maelstrom of sorrow. She can tell he's been going through it by the bags littering his eyes, the bluish tint that surrounded them, like he hasn't slept since Homecoming. He takes a deep breath, summoning all the air into his lungs then releasing it on a slow exhale, his voice naked as he goes on, "For ignoring you for weeks, for trying to replace you with Anna" He finally f*cking admits what she accused him of doing weeks ago in which he blatantly denied at the time. She feels vindicated that it hadn't been all in her mind. "For your reputation being smeared on that f*cking app." he spits out, his revulsion for the app clear. "I'll even apologize to that douchebag if you'd like, for breaking his nose or whatever "

The last part is barely heard with the chants coming from her cheermates so she says to make sure she's heard him correctly, "Really?" her brows lift, her tone less venomous than it had been moments ago when she ordered him to get gone.

"No" he shakes his head, smirking a little, the action brightening up his features, causing him to look like his normal teasing self again. And she's almost sucked into that charming way he had about himself until he releases his next words, venom unsubdued, "He deserved that sh*t"

Her expression turns stone cold, anger sparking her nerve endings. She nearly growls in protest but tempers herself, drawing the words out slowly as if talking to a child. "This isn't funny. You maimed someone, Kai."

"Maimed?" he chuckles, the sound light, melodious. And again, she gets sentimental. She missed hearing the sound even if what he's laughing at isn't funny at all. But then immediately she's mentally scolding herself, how weak she is. Is that all it took for her to cave? Hearing the sound of his laughter? He breaks their eye contact to look out onto the practice field of overzealous cheerleaders before bringing his now flatten orbs back to hers. His brow co*cks up, questioningly, the amusem*nt in his tone now absent. "Don't you think that's taking it a bit far?"

She gapes at him, not believing his nonchalance on the matter, "He had to have surgery." She bites out tersely. "His parents are pissed. They want to press charges"

Only then does his face reflect true concern. "What?" He drops out, sounding genuinely shocked, like he's finally starting to grasp the gravity of the situation, what the potential consequences of his actions could be.

"Yes," she nods slowly at him, eyes losing some of their frost. She levels gazes with him, tries to get him to see reason, her tone suppliant when she speaks, "They're serious. I don't want you to get in trouble." Yes, she's furious with him but at the end of the day he was someone she cared for immensely. She didn't want to see him in jail over some nonsense. So she levels him with a pleading stare, tone incredibly careful, she doesn't want him to feel like she's ordering this of but merely requesting it, "Can't you just apologize?"

Kai doesn't even pretend to ponder it over, despite how nicely she asked, especially considering how ill her feelings for him were in general right now, the word finite when it leaves his lips, "No." He might as well have carved it in stone. "If they want to press charges then so be it. I'll face the music if that time ever comes. I'll never change my mind about it, Bonnie. Him letting you drive drunk was unforgivable"

Bonnie shakes her head then lets out an aggravated sigh. She doesn't know why she thought he'd at least consider it, she knows if anyone does that when Kai's mind is set about something, the likelihood of changing it was slim to none. Jade spheres glance out at the practice field and meets gazes with a curious Elena. The other girl gives her a look that relays, 'What's taking so long?' Instead of mouthing a response back, Bonnie turns to wrap it up with Kai because honestly the conversation was going nowhere. She thought maybe she could get him to see reason but his mind seems pretty made up on the matter. She's just about to leave because what else was there to say?-when he touches her forearm, a tender, pleading gesture, willing her to stay. God, she hates how much she still craves his touch. She'd gotten used to not being on the receiving end of his easy affection which was always in the form of playful touches here and there, occasional bear hugs, the every now and then kisses on the forehead. She thought she weaned herself off of it. Clearly, not the case. Because right now all she wants is for him to keep touching her. Geez, would there ever be a time where she didn't desire the feel of that gentle pressure of his perfect digits on her skin? Probably not. He was forever embedded within her being.

"So" he prompts, so clueless of his affect on her. His eyes flick down to the ground then back up at her again, holding her gaze, "You're still with him then?" he prods, staring deep into her eyes, the act watchful, surveying, like he's searching for something.

"We're-" but she stops herself, realizing she doesn't owe him an explanation regarding the dynamics of her and Hudson's relationship. He's always so cagey with her regarding such things, she found it only acceptable that she paid him the same energy, "That's none of your business" and there's a hard edge to her voice.

"You're right, it isn't" are his colorless words.

Her attention sharpens on his face. She watches the clenching of his jaw as he looks away, clearly feeling a way. "So you're mad." she notes with a subtle nod of her head, not surprised at the reaction. "Let me guess, I'm betraying you by continuing to be friends with him?"

His eyes slide back to her, latching, probing and something unidentifiable mixed in there. "Is that what you are? Friends?"

sh*t. She can't believe she let that slip. She was just in her head about not giving too much away. She doesn't lament over it for long because she notices something, he looks pained, not hurt, there was a difference..

Wait, could he..could the emotion he's wearing right now, that she'd been trying to identify this whole time be rooted in..jealousy? She knows she can't trust herself to be objective here. She's never been objective when it came to him. Because It's all she's ever wanted, for him to show even an inkling that he likes her back.

"Kai, do you-" she starts–the tips of her ears turning hot but pauses because once it's out there she can't take it back.

But he isn't having it, this timidness she has never truly mastered, "Do I what?" he urges, edging in, his proximity making it hard for her to think–dipping his head and catching her eyes, his eyebrows pinched tightly over the bridge of his nose, his gaze, weighted and all locked in on her.

There was a burning intensity in his stare. Something she's never seen from him before. And is it her or was he standing ridiculously close right now? In fact, he's so close could feel his body heat wafting off his tall form, mingling with her own, her skin prickling at his nearness.

She looks harder at him, considering and It's on the edge of her lips to say, Do you like me?

Because all signs are pointing to this being the case, right? His nearness, the intense way he's looking at her right now, his needing to know the gist of her and Hudson's relationship..

But the nerves bubbling up inside her has the question withering on her tongue. Unable to finish her thought because what if she imagined everything and he responds with a revolted No. She wouldn't know how to deal. The rejection would slowly chip away at her. So she says nothing and he finally gets the hint that she won't be finishing whatever it was she had it in her mind to say.

"It kind of does feel like you're choosing him over me" he voices after a lengthy exhale, after she'd chickened out on voicing the question that had been poised at the tip of her tongue. The question that could have changed the trajectory of their relationship, depending how he answered it.

She tries not to let the disappointment stab at her. Of course this isn't about him liking her, he probably finds it a greater offense if she and Hudson were only friends because that meant that he then could be replaced. "It kind of feels like you're choosing all of this over me to be honest." And he gestures out to her squad mates. She doesn't follow his gaze; she knows Elena is probably staring at them, willing Bonnie's eyes to lock with hers so she can silently command her back to practice.

"It's just cheerleading." She tries to brush it off as something insignificant but they both know cheerleading is her life right now.

"But you're with them all the time." He points out, looking beyond frustrated. His eyes doesn't let up on hers as he accuses, "You don't sit with us anymore. When's the last time you talked to Nora? Jeremy? Really talked to them, Bonnie?"

She opens her mouth but nothing comes out. When was the last time she spoke to them?

"They're hurt." He piles onto the scolding, eyes unflinching. "They're just too prideful to say anything to you about it"

"So I'm the villain here?" She nods curtly. Realizing what this was. An attempt to guilt trip her. Since when did not having time to hang out with her friends constantly make her The Wicked Witch of the West?

He shakes his head, shutting his eyes briefly like he's searching for patience and once he's found it they're reopening again. "I didn't say that." She watches him with narrowed eyes as he blows out a breath, frustration that apparently had never fully left twisting his features, "I just wish you would treat your true friends a little better"

Anger rises to the surface at him trying to make her out to be this terrible friend. "You ignored me for a month straight and you wonder why I don't sit with you. You're joking, right?"

Because this had all started with him. He ignored her for weeks all because she made a dumb comment about his dad being a deadbeat and everything just snowballed from there. But the fact remains his refusal to acknowledge her presence was the catalyst of it all.

"Then be mad at me then. Don't use our sh*t as an excuse to ditch them" An excuse? The urge to let out a maniacal laugh was extreme.

His tone is softer when he speaks again. "You're caught up in this popularity thing, I get it." Not possible, she thinks. Kai has never cared about popularity, never wanted to fit in. But Bonnie..it's all she wants sometimes. "We all lose our way at times but I need you to reel it in. Soon. Before you don't have any friends to come back to"

Bonnie's over at Elena's house, filling the cheerleader in on the conversation she and Kai had earlier at practice.

"He thinks I'm a superficial bitch" She groans, shoulders slumping after ending the long winded retelling of events.

Elena's face reflects sympathy for the Bennett girl. "Don't listen to him. You're like the sweetest most humble person I know" She swears, touching the back of Bonnie's hand in a comforting gesture.

It warms her heart to know her friend has such a positive view of her but it doesn't completely dispel the uneasiness Kai's words had caused. "I don't know. Maybe he's right. Maybe I did ditch them a little"

Elena shaking her head in the negative, clearly not agreeing. "No, you've just been busy. Cheerleading is a lot to take on. They should understand you're not going to have all day to hang out with them anymore"

"Yeah but" And then she pauses, glancing down at her empty bowl of ice cream, shame welling inside of her. "I haven't really made any time for them at all lately. There should be a happy medium"

Her eyes flick back up to her friend and sees Elena's expression has gone from sympathetic to borderline pissed. "You're letting him get to you." she accuses. There's a harshness to her voice that she's never heard from the other girl before. "Kai's just jealous. He's always been weirdly possessive of you. It's kind of creepy honestly. Look at what he did to Hudson, psycho much?"

Bonnie closes her eyes, hating how a lot of the kids at school had started calling him that online. If Kai was on social media at all it would definitely be considered online bullying. She loathes how that was the narrative now. It was all because of that Chattr post.

"Stop, he's not a psycho. He's just really loyal"

She hadn't seen it that way until after their talk earlier. She examined the conversation, the night he went off on Hudson, that entire fight until she couldn't anymore and decided Kai loved her. Not the way she wanted but he cared so deeply for her that the thought of anything happening to her sent him into a blind rage. Does she wish he would have controlled his emotions better? Yes. But it was also kind of sweet that he cared enough about her to risk his future like that. Not saying what he did was okay but she understands it now.

"Or psycho" The brunette tacks on, biting into a grin as she scrolls through her phone.

"Lena!" Bonnie reprimands her friend but the brunette just grins.

"Just kidding" she assures, amusem*nt glinting in her brown irises as she gathers both of their bowls and proceeds to stand up. "More ice cream?" she delivers in an enticing lilt, her imploring eyes willing Bonnie to say yes.

She should really say no. Now that she was a cheerleader she had a physique to maintain. But at the end of the day temptation ultimately won out. Ice cream will forever be her weakness. After Kai Parker of course.

"Cookie dough, please" Bonnie grins giddily. Her friend chuckles before heading out to refill their bowls.

It's not even ten seconds before Elena's phone is chirping again. She's had to deal with it all through their watching of Riverdale. She doesn't know how this girl deals with the constant alerts. Bonnie reaches over to silence her friend's phone when she sees why the device is going crazy. Chattr. A sickness fills her tummy because she just knows it's another post about her.

Don't look at it. Don't look at it. Don't look at it.

She looks at it.

Being her friend's celly hadn't gone into idle status, prompting it to become locked again, she's able to go directly to the post.

But that's not what shows up on her screen. She doesn't know what she's looking at at first but then it finally clicks.

….

"What is this?" She demands, holding up the other girl's phone in the air the moment Elena walks through the threshold of her room, two bowls of ice cream filled to the brim.

"What?" Elena looks confused. She must not register that it's her phone Bonnie's inquiring about.

"You run Chattr?" she questions and the cheerleader's features turn ghastly pale, staggering in her steps. A telltale sign of one's guilt.

She tries to recover though, quickly smoothing out her expression, "What are you talking about?'' She sounds as cool as a cucumber as she finishes making her way across the room. She tries to hand Bonnie her bowl of ice cream but the Bennett girl doesn't accept it, just hardens her gaze.

"I said do you run Chattr?" She repeats herself with exaggerated patience. "You know that pesky little gossip app that humiliates our fellow classmates almost on the daily"

Elena's brows dip into her forehead, the picture of utter confusion that Bonnie may have bought if her mask hadn't slipped earlier. "No, of course not" She goes for appalled, prompting the caramel skin girl to let out a scoff.

"Then what is this?" She holds the phone out for her friend to take, her expression tight but being Elena hands are full, the cheerleader has to place both bowls of ice cream on the bed before she reluctantly takes it. Glancing at it briefly then to Bonnie again, her expression never changing from that perplexed expression she was trying to sell as genuine.

"It's logged under Admin. You have 16 new members waiting for your approval. There's gossip tips in your inbox. Post unfinished in your drafts"

Elena's mouth plops open like a fish, she's still going with the super flummoxed angle.

"You wrote that post about Hudson, Kai and I questioning if I was really a good girl or a drama queen." And what's so f*cked up is she had convinced Bonnie Kai was the cause for all of this. The whole entire time she thought it was him. That he'd blabbed to Jeremy and that it spread from there. And his text didn't help apologizing for the post. When really, he was letting her know he was sorry for what was happening to her, the post being out, knowing how crushed she must have been, not even caring how the whole situation affected him. But the whole time it'd been Elena. The taller girl even going as far as urging Bonnie to report the app, an obvious attempt to garner trust, she recognizes now. And she knew she had nothing to worry about being Principal Saltzman took online bullying just as seriously as his ex wife takes him. And then to add insult to injury, she'd offered to contact Chattr requesting the post be taken down. Absolutely diabolical. Her mind's blown. Truly. The level of deceptiveness this took was disturbing.

Her mouth twists in disgust not believing the person in front of her right now ever considered herself her friend.

Elena takes in her expression, the repulsion that must be radiating off of her because she's shaking her head violently, attempting to smooth things over. "No, I didn't. You have it wrong, Bon. I knew how much all that hurt you so I hacked into the app. I was going to disable it"

Bonnie actually does laugh, a delirious one totally devoid of humor. Because really? And when the titters taper off, she says, amusem*nt blatant in her tone, "That's a good lie. Do you know how I know it isn't true though?" The question is rhetorical so she doesn't wait for an answer. "Because you're sh*t at technology, Elena. You can barely get into your email on a good day and now you're telling me you've used your super genius tech skills to hack into a secure app? Be f*cking for real"

Bonnie sees the moment Elena accepts her fate, that she's not getting away with this. Maybe she could flutter those pretty eyelashes of hers on all the lovestruck boys at school and they'll believe whatever she's selling. But not with Bonnie. The only lashes that have any affect on her belong to a bluish-gray eyed pink haired boy and he was nowhere in sight therefore all her wits were about her. "Okay, I run Chattr. So what? It's just gossip. It's entertainment, Bonnie. It's not like I'm ruining lives or anything"

The need to ring this girl's neck was something serious. "You insinuated I was a drama Queen." she clips out, frostily. "You let the entire school know that I was drunk driving. You're the reason my driving privileges have been taken away. You're the reason my grandfather looks at me with disappointment now"

Elena's face goes from showing mild remorse to flat out irritation, the emotion also needling its way into her tone. "So I made you get on the road and drive drunk? Let two guys fight over you until one ended up with a broken nose?"

God that sounded bad but she refused to allow Elena to think what she'd done had been excusable.

"That's not the point." she blinks, hearing her voice starting to climb. "You don't even get it. If you had never posted about the events of that night, no one would know about any of it."

"Why are you so upset?" the brunette flings at her. "You're more popular than ever now. Everyone calls you bad girl Bonnie now. I thought you wanted to be stripped of that good girl image. I did this for you. I did you a huge favor if we're honest"

There was no way this girl believed any of the sh*t she was spewing right now. It was completely asinine. It was completely Caroline. And at that moment, she realized her friend who started off so sweet had morphed into Caroline f*cking Forbes. The difference though is Caroline is more upfront with her bitchiness, Elena, however pretends to be so innocent and sweet, completely unsuspecting which Bonnie thinks is far worse.

"Are you f*cking kidding me?" Unmitigated fury coats her tongue, completely having lost her cool, just sure her eyes are revealing hints of madness in its dark depths. She feels like she's in the twilight zone. "How is this a favor? Airing out my dirty laundry to the entire school? Seriously, who does that to their friend? But wait, you were never truly my friend were you? As much as I can't stand that bitch, Caroline was right about one thing, when she said she couldn't steal you from me. She couldn't because you went willingly"

The other girl's mouth parts slightly like she's about to deny it but Bonnie doesn't give her that privilege.

"I think you knew deep down that she was lying." She goes on, eyes hard on the other girl. "That I would never say those things about you. But you used that as an excuse to finally ditch me for the more popular crowd. But now that I'm not a 'nobody' anymore" she pitches with air quotes, "It's cool to be friends with me again. And when I came to you wanting to know why we weren't friends anymore, you saw it as your chance to dethrone the Queen, because you were sick of being her shadow, weren't you? So you put all the blame on her, reeling me in and it worked. She was done and the top spot on the hierarchy was open for you to fill. But that's not what happened and you couldn't take it, could you?" Bonnie could see the heaving of Elena's chest. "When I started to become more popular than you, you thought posting about the drunk driving sh*t would end me. Sure, I took a hit there but I recovered. You weren't expecting Kai to get more hate than I did but at the same time you didn't care because you never liked him anyway. Because he always saw you for who you are, an opportunistic conniving bitch"

"That's not true. This person you're describing it isn't me" Elena denies passionately, her expression lightless, voice wavering, about to start with the water works she's sure because when all else fails cry and play the victim.

"Yes, it is" she argues, getting up and grabbing her things without haste. "I was so blind all these years, defending you because I just knew you weren't a terrible person. But I was wrong though. You're far worse than what people said you were."

She gives Elena a long disgusted look before finally turning away, making her way out the snake pit.

"Wait, Bonnie" Her ex best friend cries, desperate. It must be so hard for the cheerleader to not be able to finagle herself out of this situation with tears and the uber distraught act like she had with the Cleo drama. But Bonnie is no longer viewing the other girl with rose tinted lenses. She sees the manipulative tactics, sees the cheerleader for the cunning liar she is now.

She turns around long enough to say, her expression far removed from the situation, tone colorless and detached because this girl would not get another emotion out of her. "Incase you didn't know, this friendship is over. Because I say it is. Have a sh*t life, Elena"

"Three days have gone by since his talk with Bonnie. Three days since he's heard the husky notes of her tone. Three days since he's stared into those hazel eyes of hers. Watched that well defined cupid's bow mouth of hers push out in a pout. Three days of him feeling like absolute sh*t. Okay, it's dramatic. Three days isn't much considering the stretches of time they've gone without speaking before. But God does it feel like forever. So when the text comes he loses his breath.

Bonster

But give me a chance to apologize in person please

Today 4:27 PM
Can you come over?

He stares at those four words for nearly ten minutes before he begins to text,

Busy

He immediately deletes it.

He's still angry at her for ditching him, taking the side of that douche, becoming one of them, her taking so long to realize it but also he misses her so f*cking much. He can't even be petty the way he'd like because of it.

Bonster

Can you come over?

Today 4:39 PM
Please.

And then,

Bonster

Today 4:39 PM
Please.

I need you.

He doesn't find her in her room when he comes over. She's in the treehouse her dad built for her when she was eight. A treehouse that seemed way bigger back then than it did now.

"Hey." he greets tentatively, bending his tall frame so that he can make his way inside. Although it was pretty spacious it wasn't enough so where he could stand at full height and be comfortable. Which he's sure was no issue for Bonnie being she was a midget.

She looks up at him, unshed tears in her eyes. And that sight did him the f*ck in. He didn't care what the f*ck they were argueing about before, none of that mattered anymore, just whatever was making her cry.

"What's wrong?" he muses, taking a seat beside her on the wood flooring. Sitting as close as he could get because screw trying not to let his feelings be known. At this point he didnt care if she knew. Honestly it would be a relief at this point. Ten years of making sure his mask didn't slip exhausted him beyond words.

He glances down to her lap. She had an IPad in her hand, peering down at it.

"My moms whereabouts" she answers, holding the device out to him.

He takes the tablet, looks at it then at her.

"I put an air tag in her car"

His brows go up at this.

She laughs at his changing expression but it lacks proper humor. "Extreme, I know. But I needed to know" he tries to not be offended that she couldn't take his word for it but starts to think about how if he was in her shoes, he'd probably need proof too.

But this wasn't exactly proof, it just shows her mom was at a hotel. He knew better, he's seen her with his own eyes with the douche but this could be one of the few times where she's probably actually working, a small chance but a chance nonetheless. "Maybe she's on a job," he offers, finally giving her mom the benefit of the doubt. Which she didn't f*cking deserve by the way.

"He's out of town too, you know? Mikaelson.." she clarifies as if he didn't know who she was referring to. "At least that's what one of his employees told me when I called his shop"

He places the tablet down on the wood flooring of the tree house then takes hold of her hand. Entwining his large hand with her small one. Relishing the size difference. She grips it tight, his fingers, her slim ones clutching, her voice unsteady when she speaks, coming out in a near croak "She's there with him. I know it, Kai."

He nods, knowing she's right. He's studying her closely, watching as her eyes fill with more tears. When they spill over, he wipes them away. He places a tender kiss on her temple then says, pulling her into his side, "Come here"

"You think they'll ever come out?" drawls the low, inquisitive voice beside him.

They were in Lynchburg, right outside the Hilton hotel. Waiting for her mom to emerge from her f*ck fest with Mikaelson.

Kai answers honestly. "Eventually"

Bonnie doesn't seem to like that answer so she suggests, tone colorless, "Maybe I should go up to the front desk. Demand a key. Tell them my mom's in there cheating on her husband with some British prick. You think they'll feel sorry enough for me to hand one over?" she peeks at him, waiting for his response.

He gives her a doubtful look. "They'll tell you to leave. If they don't call the cops first"

She's quiet after that.

And when it goes on for too long, he looks down at her, eyes studying her exquisite features. She has the visage of someone who just lost their pet. "You good?"

Stupid question, he knows. But maybe this will prompt her to open up to him. She hasn't really said much on their drive down here. But the pinching of her brows, the biting of her bottom lip told him how much in her head she was.

She nods but he can tell by the worry bracketing her mouth that she's far from it. He gets it. Any minute now her mom is going to emerge from that hotel with a man that isn't her father. It's a tough pill to swallow for her. All she knows is the version of her mother who is head over heels for her dad. So this version, this backstabbing cheat, she can't quite process. And then she comments, proving how well he can read her, "I can't believe she would do this to my dad. He like worships the ground she walks on. What a selfish bitch" despite her words, her delivery lacks proper venom.

He hears her though, how incredibly selfish does one have to be to risk their family for a handful of heated moments?

"People don't like to be worshiped, they want to be treated like sh*t."

He knows this all too well. His mother could have left his father a long time ago and found someone who treated her right but she chose to stay in a loveless marriage with a belligerent drunk.

She gives him a funny look, like she can't quite believe he's quite so jaded. "You really believe that?"

He nods slowly. "Why do you think the most toxic relationships are considered the most exciting? People get a rush from toxicity. They crave drama"

"That's f*cked up" she voices, sounding disgusted but he notes how she doesn't disagree with him.

"Yeah," he agrees on a sigh. "It is."

A full minute goes by before she lets it be known, "I don't ever want that"

"Toxicity?" he quips, hiking a brow at her. "You sure?"

A smile tugs at her mouth but he doesn't get to bask in it for long because she flicks her eyes away, turning her face so that she's peering out the window, clearly trying to hide her grin from him. "Shut up" she mumbles.

He chuckles, touches the back of her hand, assuring her it's all jokes. "I'm kidding. I know the bully romances you read are solely for masterbati*n purposes"

"Don't start" she warns but there's humor in her tone and he laughs, a nice velvety sound that stirs up longing again. She doesn't know how she can go back to being friends with him, craving his looks, those pretty smiles of his, it was torture at the end there knowing she could never have him when girls like Anna could easily demand his attention. Because although she missed him, his crude jokes, his friendly touches, the way his lips lent up to one side of his mouth in that trademark half smirk of his, it was a relief to not be surrounded by it constantly, because it only ever did her in. Hudson never caused those feelings within her. He was safe, he didn't control her emotions the way Kai did, it was nice to not feel like heartbreak was imminent.

But it was also hell. Because who was she kidding? He was everything to her. There wasn't a world where she didn't want to be with him.

When all the laughter has died down and there's a comfortable quiet that exist between them she utters into the silence, "Hudson and I are no longer friends"

She can feel his eyes on her again. When he speaks his voice doesn't sound like his own, the words are sort of strained, "You're not?"

This gets her to look at him. What peers back at her isn't relief like she expected his reaction to be. She takes in the dipping of his brows, the nearly guardedness in his eyes and is confused. "No." She answers with a slow shake of the head. "He wouldn't stop talking sh*t about my bestie"

And only then does his brows smooth out, his irises drop the shutters, "I thought you were trying to tell me you two were more"

So that was what had inspired the controlled expression just now? She shakes her head, needing him to know something, "He was never really my type" A week ago she would have never admitted this. It didn't fall in line with her goal of trying to make him jealous. She'd wanted him to think she'd finally found someone she liked, that out of all the guys she could take her pick from, Hudson was what she wanted. That had to inspire some type of feelings right? If not jealousy–even if his feelings were only platonic, there had to be the nagging question in the back of his mind, why not him?

"Could have fooled me" Kai gets out as nonchalant as he can manage.

Images infiltrate his mind of Bonnie straddling the douches lap, attacking his face with her mouth. He forgets about the rest of his person because he feels the clenching of his fist at his sides. He immediately unclenches them before she can notice.

That was never an option though because her gaze is all dialed in on his, "I guess I just wanted to feel wanted" she nearly sighs out the response.

His eyes widen at this.

Was she serious? She was wanted by nearly every straight, red blooded guy at their school. There was no shortage of options for her. He couldn't wrap his brain around her comment so he utters out, "You do attend our school, right? I think there's a general consensus that you are"

He's not one to bring attention to her looks, because she was more than that but also it made him feel uncomfortable to admit these things to her because he was always afraid she would see past the friendly compliment and would pick up on the true depths of his feelings for her. It brought on a sense of paranoia he couldn't vibe with.

"Yeah but they're too close, you know?"

He doesn't ask her to elaborate because he thinks he knows what she means. With doucheface she didn't have to worry about seeing him everyday, it was light, easy fun. No pressure.

All this talk centering her Homecoming date, he finally remembers, "I don't think I ever told you congrats on your win"

Her shoulders move up ever so slightly, her face as blank as a canvas. "It doesn't matter. It's just a stupid title"

He likes that she couldn't care less about that sh*t. It means she's still his same ol' Bonnie.

She's right though, it was a meaningless title. But a title a lot of girls would kill for. Girls like Caroline Forbes who'd been foaming at the mouth watching Bonnie accept her crown.

The thought has him flashing back to that night of the Homecoming dance and the confrontation he had with the blonde.

Kai had been going through his text messages in the student parking lot when Caroline Forbes, shunned ex cheerleader and the school's current pariah–deservedly so–approached him, or her car rather, in which he'd been sitting quite comfortably on.

At her approaching steps, he'd looked up from his phone after sending a quick text to his date.

"What the f*ck are you doing on my car?" she spat at him, her overly glossed lips curling down in distaste. She'd looked beyond heated. And he knew what she really wanted to say, Get the f*ck off my car Trailer Parker, the nickname he'd been dubbed in middle school. No one used it much lately though mostly because they knew he'd crush their f*cking face in if they did but it didn't mean they weren't thinking it.

He pocketed his phone, brought his undivided attention to the blonde who was practically glaring with contempt being his tush was still firmly planted on top of her shiny new Beamer.

"It's not in here" he said simply.

"What?" the word, a sneer.

"The blood.." he'd given her a clue, tipped his chin down while his eyes held her baby blues. "I'm assuming pigs?"

Her mouth plopped open and then remembering herself, she quickly closed it shut. Ironed out her expression to complete passivity.

"You're not crazy. You didn't leave it in the car"

When she hadn't found the gallon of pig's blood where she left it hidden behind the stage after carrying it inside, she must have reasoned with herself, decided that she'd left it in the car and that she'd simply had a moment of delirium where she thought she'd taken it inside. But she hadn't been mistaken. Kai may not have been heavy in the social scene but he heard things. And he'd been watching her all night, those cutting eyes she threw Bonnie's way. How she was almost always watching the other girl, her blue eyes glacial and coated in resentment. He'd known she was going to go through with her plan, that pettiness that was ingrained in her willing her to do so. So he'd found the blood, disposed of it.

She blinked but otherwise said nothing.

"Not very original. Carrie, really?" he sighed then gave her a disappointed look. "But what was I expecting? Your whole personality is a copy paste of a fictional character" he said, recalling how Bonnie had told him about Caroline's obsession with the movie Mean girls. Except, Regina George was a lot more clever.

"What are you talking about?" she spat out, tried to act clueless but he could see that franticness that shined just below the surface of those dark pupils.

Finally, he plopped himself off of her cream colored BMW, not for her sake but because he hadn't wanted any of her black juju to rub off on him. He'd approached her, his steps measured, a slight quirk to his lips.

"Are you really going to pretend like you weren't going to douse pigs blood all over my unsuspecting friend as she accepted her crown?"

"Pigs blood" she'd let out in a dramatic gasp, pale blue eyes widened with shock. "I would never"

"You're right." he nodded slowly, having put a mere foot of distance between the two. "You would never. Because if you did ever try to come for her again, I'll end you." And then he leaned in and said, voice dripping ice, "For real this time. Because what Bonnie did, kicking you off your pathetic squad would be considered light work in comparison"

He pulled away, examined her face. Her ears had practically been expelling steam but she quickly got hold of her features, scrubbed them from all emotion.

"Oooh" she'd replied with a dramatic shiver. "You're so big and bad. I'm shaking in my boots." She'd put on a display of false terror. And then her face was stone, her voice acidic as her words clipped out, "Don't threaten me. You have no idea who you're dealing with"

He smiled but it's all barbs and wires. "No, you have no idea who you're dealing with. Take heed three and forget about the revenge plot you have planned for my best friend. Final warning"

Her head tipped to the side, eyes studied him in slow dissection, "And if I don't?" she posed, chin tilted up defiantly.

"Well, then," he drawled, considering her words. "-a certain administrator might come aware of the fact that you've been paying someone to write your essay papers for the last two years." The arrogance that was etched on her face falls instantly. "A cheating scandal" he gasped, echoing the false terror she displayed moments ago, a shocked hand moving up to hover over his mouth, "God, that has the makings of affecting someone's college acceptances." He dropped the act and her jaw clenched tight as she peered at him, there'd been practically frost exiting her nostrils.

The ice queen indeed.

"You're looking to get into Brown, right?"

She hadn't answered but he hadn't expected her to.

"Ivy league." he'd whistled appreciatively. "That could really do wonders for someone's career. It would be a shame if it was suddenly taken away"

She seemed to weigh his words before responding, her tone full of doubt. "You don't have any proof"

"That's what you think" he watched as her arms folded over one another in a defiant stance. "But to be honest, do I really need any? The accusation alone would spark an investigation"

"You wouldn't" she'd let the word spill out in a way that suggested she was hardly moved by his words. But he'd noticed the tendons in her fist, how they flexed. And that's when he knew he had her. She'd been sh*tting bricks at his threat but tried playing it cool. The thing though, she had too many tells.

"I would" he dropped out, eyes gone flat.

"Consider your choices here." He presented her options plainly. "Your future or your revenge on Bonnie?" His hands had motioned the two choices in a weighing gesture. "You decide"

And she decided alright, she stood her entitled ass there amongst the sea of their peers, face boiling with unrestrained rage as Bonnie accepted her Homecoming Queen title. He gave her some credit, she wasn't that stupid after all.

"What's the smirk for?" the curious lilt comes, pulling him out of his thoughts.

The question takes him by surprise because he hadn't even realized he'd been doing it.

He relaxes the muscles in his face, smoothing out his expression to its default nondescript. Shrugging, he looks down, not even sure how to answer because he definitely wasn't admitting to blackmail but then when the synapses start to firing, he offers what he'd been thinking before he'd taken a walk down memory lane, shaking his head a little, "Just," he continues with the gesture. "I missed you"

Tipping his head up, he allows his eyes to land back on her, watching her face soften at his words. She looks so pretty in this moment. So soft and angelic. He itches to touch her face, trace the lines of her proud jaw, the curve of her cheek bones, the soft pillows of her mouth.

"Same." she tells him, her hand suddenly covering his own. His eyes flick up to gauge her expression but her gaze is trained on their fingers which are suddenly entwined. "I hate when we fight." she finally peeks up at him, her visage vulnerable, her voice is also filled with the emotion, "Let's not do it again, okay?"

He clutches her fingers tighter, using the gesture to do the answering for him.

And they sit there in his car, fingers entwined, not saying a word. He can tell by the peeks he's been getting in that she's in heavy rumination. He hadn't wanted to disturb whatever contemplation she's engulfed in so he sat there, his thumb gently stroking the back of her hand, wordlessly letting her know he was there for her if she needed him.

After about the third sigh she lets out, he finally says, "If this is too much for you-" he starts because he knows this must be hard for her, waiting to be proven right about something so devastating. "-I'll take you home." he offers gently, biting his lip then releasing it, "I'll even follow her around if you need me to, get whatever proof you need.."

Her eyes spark with life at his words, sliding him an amused smile, "You'd stalk my mom for me?"

He cringes at her words. "That sounds creepy." he lets out, wincing. "Let me rephrase that, I'll follow him around if you want me to"

"That's still creepy" she points out, grin growing wider but she looks touched nonetheless.

"But I'll be that for you." he tells her, allowing a lazy smile of his own to stretch over his features, he unlooses his hand from hers and pinches her cheek. "See how much I love you?"

And f*ck, that hadn't come out as playfully as he wanted. It has him cringing internally and he wonders if she's picked up on it too but then she speaks, dispelling that theory, "You're sweet but no you don't have to stalk anyone for me."

"It's not stalking." he clarifies, making the point clear. "I'm simply lending my private investigation services, free of charge of course"

"Free?" she relays with faux wonder. "Now how can I turn that down?"

"Right?" he replies, eyes stretching wide.

She laughs. And then suddenly she gets serious. "Thanks for the offer but I need to see it for myself. I need to know that she's actually capable of-" but she stops herself, her voice breaking at the edges, having filled with massive amounts of emotion before doing so.

He grabs hold of her hand again, his voice uncharacteristically soft, "It's okay. I get it."

She nods then smiles, it's minuscule albeit carefully constructed, taking quite the effort to do. "Thanks for coming with me. You didn't have to. I know how much of a bitch I've been to you lately"

He shakes his head at the ridiculousness of her words. "Bonnie, you're my best friend. Of course I would be here for you. I don't care how many fights we have, I would never abandon you when you need me"

A grateful smile appears on her lips, it takes every bit of him to not reach up and stroke her cheek because why was this maddening girl so f*cking beautiful? It seriously wasn't fair to all the other girls in the world.

"Well, good because-" but her words break off, her gaze having shifted from his to peering through his driver's side window.

He turns his head, already knowing what he would find.

A black jaguar is pulling slowly out of the hotel's parking garage.

Mikaelson's car for sure.

"It's him" Kai is the one to point out. And the closer the car comes into view, the more obvious it becomes that someone else is in the car with him. Within seconds, it's clear that someone is Abigail Bennett.

"And my mother" she says the words on a croak.

"For the record I wanna make it known I don't think this is a good idea" Kai throws out there just so if everything suddenly became his fault again, he could claim he tried to warn her of her rash actions beforehand.

They're outside the restaurant her mom and her side piece slipped inside of not even five minutes ago. The two had followed them here with no real plan beyond that, but Bonnie, having decided just now waiting in the car wasn't good enough and that joining the lovely couple for a meal inside was actually more appealing.

Kai disagrees.

Confronting her mom in a restaurant packed with people is far from what he would have done if he were in her situation, but at the same time it was easy to think such things when you haven't been faced with such dilemmas.

"It's a fantastic idea" she comments beside him, eerily calm, as she stares off at the restaurant as if she possessed x-ray vision and can see the couple through the brick and mortar.

He lets out a steady stream of air. He knows by the determined look on her face that no amount of reasoning would convince her to not go through with what she had in her mind to do.

"If you feel uncomfortable, I understand." She finally turns to him, having sensed his uneasiness. "You can wait in the car. I'll confront her and her boy toy and then I'll be back out. It shouldn't take long, five minutes tops"

He stares at her, how unattached from the situation she sounds. Like this wasn't something that completely terrifies her. Because if we're honest, Bonnie wasn't this girl. She didn't confront her parents about anything. Nor did she yell, scream or even disrespect them in the slightest. She had the reputation of a good girl for a reason. And because of this, he knows there's some trepidation about what she's about to do but because she must feel obligated to confront the older woman for at least her father's sake, she's decided this is what needs to be done.

It wasn't his business he knows, but because he cares for her, he wasn't going to let her go in there by herself. She needed him. She pretended to be all strong and sh*t but she was so incredibly fragile.

"Come on," he requests gently, extending his hand out to her. When she takes it, he smothers the feeling climbing up his chest of the rightness he feels at the act. Instead of drowning in the feeling, he puts on a serious face, being the rock she needs and leads them inside.

She spots them, hunkered in a cozy corner, flirting relentlessly. Her lungs tightens in her chest at the sight. It was disgusting. That nervousness that was savagely flowing through her, casting all kinds of doubts in her mind about what she was about to do, caused her for a split second there to nearly turn around and chicken out like she always does but the sight of them sitting there so boldly, her mom nearly sitting on top of the asshole's lap, pecking him on the mouth like she wasn't a whole married ass woman obliterates all thoughts of leaving. She marches up to the pair, her tone filled with false cheer as she throws out, "Mind if we join you?"

At the sound of her voice they both pull apart, her moms eyes widening cartoonishly as she meets Bonnie's gaze then they slide over to Kai beside her, a furrow digging into her perfect brow. Her expression relaying shock but also confusion. It's a moment before she chokes out, hand flying to her chest, "Bonnie..what are you doing here?"

Bonnie wants to laugh. This is what she has to say? No I'm sorry you caught me cheating on your father but what was she doing here? Unbelievable.

"What am I doing here? That is really funny." she comments, not allowing her anger to override her need to present a cool calm and collected Bonnie. But oh how she wanted to yell out the response. "The better question is what are you doing here?"And then shifting her gaze towards Abby's side dude. "With him.." she gives him a dirty look, holding his gaze.

And that startled look that was covering Abby's face was all but absent from his. He looks as though he's relieved that everything's finally out in the open. And she knows what he's thinking; now that the cat's out of the bag, they could finally be together without her pesky family being in the way. It infuriates her. This arrogant f*cking prick actually thinks Abby will be with him after this. As if she would just give up her entire family for him. The f*cking arrogance.

Anger bristles within her. She sneers at him, eyes not leaving his although her question is aimed at her mother. "Does dad know you're out on a date?" she spits out the last word.

"Bonnie-" her mom starts, "Don't do this here" she hisses. Of course her concern is being called out on cheating in front of an entire restaurant, not that she nearly traumatized her child for life. How was Bonnie supposed to trust anyone after this?

At the order, her eyes finally settle on her mother again. "Is there another place you'd rather go to discuss this? For example, the hotel I just followed you from.." She hears her voice rising, registers the eyes turning in their direction of the scene playing out before them. But she doesn't care. Let them watch.

She takes in the older woman's face, how it's grown embarrassed, a flush fanning her cheeks before finally settling on anger, a frown angling her brows, the slight pinching of her mouth. "You followed me?" and the words are aghast, like Bonnie's the one crossing lines here..

"I did" Bonnie admits, unashamed. She refuses to allow her mom to make her feel guilty about this, the extremes she resorted to in order to learn the truth..

Her mother doesn't comment so she takes this opportunity to slide into the booth across from the lovely couple. Kai doesn't move and she looks up at him, eyes blinking, her tone wondering, "Kai, why are you just standing there? Join us"

She watches as his eyes flick to her, they'd been preoccupied on Mikaelson the whole time, a hint of disgust on his features. She pats the seat beside her, her tone warm and cheery. "Sit bestie. Let's order. I know you're hungry. You're always hungry" And then she's looking back at her mom who's grown even more mortified since the last time she'd eyed her, but she ignores the look because how f*cking dare her?

Casually picking up a menu, she inquires, voice quite level considering the rage building inside her, "How's the catfish? Is it any good?" she throws out there, her eyes flicking upward to Abby but it's Kai who speaks, looking mildly nauseated while at it, "Really Bon? Catfish?" his brow scrunches, a judging look on his face. "That's like the bottom of the barrel as far as fish goes. Might as well throw in some crayfish while you're at it." he tsks. "Not surprising though, you've always had questionable taste in food." And he sounds completely serious, though she knows he's not. Sliding in the seat beside her, he picks up a menu, glancing at it, "Salmon on the other hand.." he goes on despite the multiple eyes blinking at him. "Paired with some steamed asparagus, roasted herb potatoes. Magnifique" he kisses the tip of his fingers, his expression going temporarily blissful. This nearly inspires a snort out of her, she really would have if she wasn't so pissed right now. Because even though he doesn't think she should be doing this, calling her mom out so publicly like she is, he's being the Kai she knows and loves, bringing light to a f*cked up situation.

Her mom's not having any of it, she orders, tone fed up, eyes flashing at the younger Bennett, "Bonnie, get up" She looks monumentally furious for someone who doesn't have any right to be.

"No, I wanna eat. What do you recommend?" her brows are bunching inward. "Is this your first time here or do you two come here often?" she inquires, eyes flickering between the two lovers.

Mikaelson's jaw visibly clenches, like he itches to say something. But is being good for Abby's sake. "What?" she gears at him, trying to rile up that vicious snake who she knows is just itching to strike. "It's just when cheaters cheat they usually stick to the same lowkey spots. You know, to avoid being caught. Isn't that right, mom?" her bland eyes are back on her mother, brow hitching upward.

"That's enough" Abby blows out huffily, slapping her napkin down on the table and sliding out of the booth.

"What? I'm just asking a question" she remarks, eyes widening innocently, watching the older woman gather her things in a complete haste.

"Would you rather I direct my questions to your boyfriend instead?" her hazel eyes land on her mother's date again. But he's not looking at her. He's in the process of removing himself from the booth as well. But this doesn't stop the ex cheerleader from throwing out, quite nastily, "While we're on the topic, how many married women are you sleeping with, just a ballpark figure?"

He ignores her, now in standing position. And it grinds her gears how he hasn't said a thing this whole time. That's actually worse than him daring to speak. Because it meant he thought her so insignificant that she didn't warrant a comment from him. She's furious, could see how Kai could get so mad that he hit someone. Right now all she wants to do is punch him in his insufferable smug face. Bristling, she watches him as he pulls out his wallet, counting out at least two hundred dollars worth of bills and tosses it on the table. Because money was nothing to him. Pretentious bastard.

"I guess they've gotten all shy" Bonnie blurts, setting down her menu.

"We'll discuss this later" Abby clips out, clearly fuming, sending Bonnie a searing look. She looks ready to bolt so the teen throws out, before she can slither out of this confrontation, "No, let's talk about it now" she demands, tone edging towards curt.

A brow whips up on her mother's face at Bonnie's sass. Sass she's never used on her parents before. Ever. "Bonnie, I swear-"

"You swear what?" Bonnie cuts the philanderer off mid sentence, nearly choking on emotion. "Nothing you can say could scare me. I've lost all respect for you. Don't you get that?" Her voice, nearly cracking, throat constricting. God and she hates it. At this, she feels Kai's hand reach for hers under the table, his subtle way of telling her it's okay.

She sucks up the tears that threaten to fill her eyes, paying extra attention to her mom, noting how her mother's face has gone from anger to visibly hurt, like it's finally registering how badly she's screwed up. Ignoring the arrogant prick beside her who hasn't left the restaurant like he should do. No, he's standing awfully close to the older woman as if they are a unit. She can feel his eyes on her. Bonnie doesn't meet them. She continues to watch her mom whose expression has quickly rearranged her features to stone cold, "I'll see you at home"

Don't bet on it, Bonnie thinks but doesn't say.

They're a few feet away from Kai's car, having just exited the restaurant when he throws out, eyes flicking at his keys that were in Bonnie's clutches. She'd sifted them off the table when they got ready to leave the restaurant. She probably thinks it will give her something to do–driving them back home, that way she doesn't have to think about what just happened. But he doesn't think she should suffocate her emotions like that. She needs to let it out, whatever's she's feeling right now. "I can drive back. That way you can sort things out with your dad.."

He glances up at her face. She's not looking at him of course. No, she's staring at absolutely nothing, completely dead eyed.

"Bon?" he tries when she doesn't respond, the empty look on her face starting to worry him. He gets it. She just confronted her cheating mother and her lover. She should be upset, but there's a difference between being upset and being numb. And that he doesn't want, he can't have her checking out from the world.

She finally registers hearing her name being called, her jade orbs flying up to him. She looks slightly startled. Blinking owlishly at him, she blurts, "What?"

The confused timber has him letting out, his tone softening, "I said do you want me to drive back?"

She's shaking her head before he's even done speaking, not allowing it. "No, it's fine. I'll drive" she tells him, her dead eyes finally coming alive again which he's relieved to see.

Despite that glimmer of hope that she's not as depressed as he thought, he's shaking his head anyway, denying her of the option. "Keys, Bennett." he holds an outstretched hand out, gesturing for the fob in her clutches. "I'm not going to let you drive, you just confronted your mom. You need to process that sh*t." he tells her, brow cinching in concern, his eyes making a slow survey of her face and deciding he was definitely driving. Her emotions had to be all over the place right now. She shouldn't have to worry about getting them home on top of all that. "I'll take you home" he orders as they approach his car.

"No," she shakes her head immediately, "I don't want to go home" she responds and her words barely register amidst the whirring of cars whizzing by, her hazel eyes looking up at him all sad and suppliant, "I can't. I can't look at her, Kai" and she sounds so broken.

God, he can't stand to see her like this. He could kill her mom for making her go through this sh*t.

He nods, his limbs automatically reaching for her, pulling her into his chest. He wraps her into a snuggly hug, "You can crash at mines..for however long you want"

"Okay" she squeaks quietly into his chest.

They're at his house now, tucked away in his room, away from his family, the world. Bonnie plopped on the edge of his bed, peering up at him as he stands a mere foot in front of her, his teeth sinking into the fleshy pillow of his bottom lip. He looks nervous about something, which throws her off. She's about to ask what's bothering him when he speaks first.

"Are you hungry?" he inquires, brows crumpling together, dark eyes curious, "I could whip you up something quick. A grill cheese or something"

Not what she was expecting..

But his offer was quite tempting. Because Kai's grill cheeses were not like everyone else's grill cheeses. He used all kinds of cheeses that most people have never even heard of. A food snob through and through. And this particular quality he possessed has benefited her greatly. But since food was the last thing on her mind right now, she responds listlessly, resisting a sigh, "I'm not hungry"

"Sure you are." is his immediate response, knowing it's been hours since they've both eaten. To be honest, it's been more than a few hours. Her last real meal was breakfast. She doesn't count the half bag of trail mix he bought her at the gas station when he stopped to fill up his car. "I could make you some tomato soup as well. How does that sound?"

She merely shrugs, barely committing to the gesture. She only agrees because he's not going to stop with this line of questioning until she ascents to be fed.

That was the thing with Kai; he loved feeding people. It made him feel useful. And though she loved trying out all his new recipes, his cooking wasn't why she stuck around, it was because of his heart. He had one of gold and that was a rare commodity around these parts.

He doesn't take off to prepare her meal right away. Instead, studies her. His gray eyes flickering over her face. Not in a desperate–all consuming way like she wished he would gaze at her. No, he's looking at her like he feels sorry for her. Confirmed when a divot forms between his brow, like he's worried she would break down at any moment. "You should probably get a shower in before all the hot water's gone"

She offers a dismal nod.

He closes the space between the two, bending down on his hunches so their eyes are level. Taking hold of her hand, he strokes it with his thumb, his eyes brushing softly over her face. "Hey, it's gonna be okay. I promise" he assures her gently, his expression infusing with warmth.

She wants to believe him, she does, because it's him telling her this. Kai doesn't say stuff to pacify, if he says something, he believes it. But she can't see how this will turn around for the better.

She shakes her head, a clawing ache burrowing up her throat, causing her to feel like it's closing in, it's a miracle she's able to get her words out. "No, it's not" is her pitiful reply, it's a near sob and she feels water well in her eyes for the millionth time today. She forces herself not to cry.

His hold on her hand tightens and he uses that sweet tone with her, "Your parents will work everything out. They're not like mine, they actually love each other"

Yeah, but is love enough? She wants to say. This wasn't one of their rare fights, this was infidelity. It was betrayal. She's not sure her dad could forgive that. She's not sure she could.

And it's like he can read her thoughts because he adds, his tone less gentle. When the words are spoken they're filled with complete confidence. "Don't worry. They're going to be okay, Bonnie. This will pass"

She nods, leans forward and hugs him. He returns the gesture, his strong arms wrapping her up. Sighing, she snuggles into his chest, feeling like she belongs there. Only then does she feel comfortable enough to release the floodgates.

They stay like that for a while, her crying into his chest, him murmuring soft words into her ear, his careful hands, stroking her hair, her back.

When the tears finally subside, she pulls away, all snotty and disgusting she's sure. "My dad" she pipes up, sniffling, "I should probably call him"

He nods like he agrees, moving a hand up, using the pads of his thumb to wipe away the remainder of her tears. God, she's sure she looks a mess, face puffy from crying, wet nose, her makeup all smeared..

One side of his mouth tips up slightly like he doesn't care about any of that sh*t. "Holler if you need me" His soft eyes are flickering over her face one last time before he's decided she's okay to be left alone. And with that, he gets up and leaves, giving her that alone time she needs to call her father.

It's maybe a half an hour or so before he's returned to check on her. Gently rapping on the door, he sounds, his lilt hesitant, "Bon?"

"You can come in" she answers, granting him access to his own room. And then he's opening the door and stepping inside, he doesn't come all the way in though, stopping just a few feet beyond the threshold.

"I ran you a bath." he tells her and Bonnie can't help but internally smile at the sweet gesture. Kai would really make an awesome boyfriend. He just doesn't know it yet. "It has bubbles and everything." he adds when she just looks at him, brows lifted.

"Aw, look at you being a sweet, caring friend." she croons teasingly.

At this, his eyes roll. He absolutely hates when she highlights his finer qualities. It's like he detest being seen as anything other than a menace. But he really does have a gentle side, she wishes he would embrace it more.

And like typical Kai, he changes the subject on her, "How's your Dad doing?" His expression is more serious now, like he's genuinely curious to know.

Bonnie can feel her own shifting as well. That flicker of joy she felt teasing her friend is over. Melancholy feels her anew. "He's gutted. Which is understandable." she voices, disgust and bitter resentment coating her tongue. "The person he's been married to for two decades has been f*cking another man behind his back for no telling how long now."

His eyes soften, like he understands. And Bonnie wonders if Kai's parents have ever stepped out on eachother. If they have, he's never opened up to her about it.

"Do you want to be with him? I can take you home..." he offers charitably. But that's the last thing she wants, to be in that house while they duke it out. Especially with her being the one having brought all this to light. She's sure her mom hates her. Which f*ck her. She shouldn't care what Abby thinks. But she can't help but to. Although she's mad too, she can't help but feel like she blew up their entire world. Maybe if she was subtle about it, confronting her mom alone but no, she had to make a scene at a crowded restaurant. Even Kai wouldn't do any sh*t like that. And he could be petty as all hell.

"Actually, he thinks it's best that I stay at a friend's house tonight." Which she knows is because he doesn't want her to witness the aftermath of the affair. She's positive he's tearing into her mom right now. Which he has every right to.

What was her mom thinking? How could she jeopardize their family like this?

"Though I may have led him to believe said friend was of the female variety"

"So you lied?" he determines with a slow smirk spreading over his perfect lips. "All on your own? No prompting needed?" And when she doesn't answer the question he was expecting her not to answer. "Well, damn Bennett. I'm proud of you" and his face reflects it.

"You know you're a really bad influence" she informs him, feeling her lips twitch, like it's actually threatening to lift up in a grin.

A shadow of a smirk crosses his lips. "Bonster, if that were the case, you would have been corrupted a long time ago"

This boy. What was she going to do with him?

Foregoing her typical smart aleck response, she simply shakes her head, not wanting to encourage him.

Standing up, she decides, "I guess I'll go get cleaned up" making her way towards the door. But stops in her tracks when she reaches where he's standing. She looks up at him, into the pretty blue gray eyes of his. "Thanks for making me the bubble bath" she voices her gratitude and before she can chicken out, she leans up on her tippy toes which was quite a way, her friend was so tall now–and kisses him on the cheek.

When she pulls away, she notices his cheeks are slightly pink. "Yeah, sure" he mumbles before flicking his eyes away, his hand moving up to scratch the nape of his neck, a nervous gesture of his. "I should get back in the kitchen before I burn it down and we're back off to the trailer park" he jokes, but it sounds awkward leaving his lips.

sh*t. Had she crossed a line? Did he not like what she'd done just now?

Of course he hadn't. He could smell her desperation. It's practically oozing from her pores. He's not even looking at her.

Bonnie opens her mouth, wanting so badly to apologize but doing so would be making a big deal out of it, so she doesn't. Instead, she walks past him and heads to her awaiting bubble bath.

When Bonnie gets out of the tub, which she stayed in a little too long considering there were six other people in the house and only one other bathroom which happens to be in the master suite. She finds a toothbrush, sleep shorts and a tank on the bed when she steps inside his room.

Jo's.

Kai must have gotten the clothes from her. No underwear though. Not that she expected them. Wearing someone else's was out of the question anyway so she guessed she was going commando tonight.

After changing, she goes to find Kai. He's in the kitchen plating dinner, she notices right away his change of clothes. He's in a white tee and gray sweatpants, his feet bare. He must've taken a shower while she was soaking in the tub.

"Just in time" he glances up at her the moment she walks through the threshold.

And then his gaze is briefly flickering down to her bare legs, lingering a bit before finding her eyes again.

Wait, did Kai just check her out? Or was she imagining sh*t? Because she did do that alot. She can't even count the amount of times she's daydreamed about those intense eyes of his giving her the look before waltzing up to her and planting the most passionate kiss on her lips.

She's pathetic, she knows. She's working on rehabilitation.

She shakes the thought away, eyes landing on the pasta laid out before her. "I thought you were going to make grilled cheese sandwiches"

"I didn't have any tomatoes, so the plan changed" he's not looking at her and that's how she knows he's lying. He wasn't missing any ingredients, he made her pasta because chicken alfredo was her favorite.

She doesn't call him out on it though.

"Ba Ba" she hears, the sweet little voice ripping her attention away from her kind hearted best friend. It was a nickname that was given to her because at the time the owner couldn't say Bonnie and from there it just stuck.

In the entryway are two adorable toddlers.

"There are my babies.'' Bonnie croons, her face lighting up as both of Kai's younger siblings waddle into the kitchen. They're all chubby cheeks and bright eyes, looking adorable in their matching pajamas. She doesn't waste a minute before she's gathering them up into her arms, kissing them on the top of their heads. "I missed you guys'' she says into the silky strands, inhaling their baby scent. Yes, even though they were toddlers they still had that scent newborns held.

"Did you miss me?" she gears at them both, finally pulling away to study their cute little faces.

They nod, their blonde heads bobbing up and down enthusiastically.

"Did they?" Kai is saying, like that was a gross understatement. "This one" he tips his head at Livvie. "-cried the other day for you"

This makes her sad. One of the worst parts of fighting with Kai was not being able to see these little ones. The thought of Livvie crying for her makes her heart pinch.

"Aw, I missed you too Livvie." she nuzzles her nose into the toddlers warm cheek." Blame your brother for that. He was mad at me" she relays in a baby voice, casting all blame on the little one's sibling.

Livvie looks up at her brother, her big blue eyes blinking owlishly at him. Like she understood what Bonnie is saying. Although these two weren't constantly blabbering like most children their age, their comprehension skills were phenomenal.

Kai's pretty mouth shapes into a frown. He eyes her but it's hardly menacing. "Are you trying to turn my own brother and sister against me?'

She feels both corners of her lips pull up at the ends, watching his expression grow appalled. Answering, she lets out coyly, "Maybe"

He shakes his head, eyes flicking over to his siblings. "That's low. Unfortunately for you they'll never turn on me Bonnie because I'm the one who feeds them and bathes them and wipes away their snot bubbles. Isn't that right, Livvie Poo?" Now he's the one speaking in a baby voice. God was it cute. It's such a change from the hard way he presents himself at school. No one would ever believe her if she told them the same boy who pounds guys faces in for saying the wrong thing to him is the same one who reads his younger siblings bedtime stories every night.

Livvie eyes bounces between the two before she decides, reaching out her fat little hands for Bonnie, indicating she wants to be picked up.

"See" Bonnie comments smugly, bending down to pick up the toddler.

Kai looks scandalized. "Traitor" he shoots at the three year old. Going for his brother, he picks him up, kisses his plump cheek. "Lukey's my guy anyway" Lucas snuggles into his brother's chest, content, clearly loving the attention he's being paid.

"Oh, don't get mad because she likes me more than you" Bonnie teases, nuzzling more nose kisses into the toddlers cheek. Her adorable little scent filling her nose.

His eyes roll upward like he finds her words ridiculous. "Oh please, it's only because you've hardly been around. They've just missed you is all" And that sends a pain through her chest. Because he's right, she hasn't been around..

Bonnie doesn't have time to address it though because a dramatic voice chirps from behind, "And who is this lovely young lady?"

Bonnie turns around and watches as Kai's mom Pamela trounces up to them. She's dressed in a dress so tight she's sure it was a challenge just to breathe in. "I nearly didn't recognize you. I swear you get prettier and prettier every time I see you"

Bonnie blushes, still not used to the compliments that started to come in since she made it a point to give a damn about her appearance.

"Thank you" she replies meekly, feeling Kai's eyes on her.

"But seriously, darling. You grew up to be such a gorgeous young lady. Just like your mama"

And that comment, if it came a few weeks ago, would have made her day. But now, all it did was bring Abby to the forefront of her mind again. Teasing Kai about his siblings' preference for her had temporarily pushed her mother to the back of her mind. Now the issue is staring her dead in the face again, souring her good mood. She doesn't let it show though, forcing a bright smile onto her lips.

"I haven't seen you around here lately. Did you finally get tired of my son?" Pamela teases and Bonnie laughs.

"Nope, he got tired of me. Banished me from your home. Told me to never show my face around here ever again" she plays along, eyes flicking over to Kai as he shakes his head at her obvious fib.

Pamela's eyes fly over to him, her face softening. She gives him a look that Bonnie can't quite decipher and then she's speaking again, eyes shifting back to Bonnie's. "That sounds unlikely," is uttered out in her cute Virginia accent. For some reason Kai's parents' accents were more pronounced than others.

Bonnie laughs then admits truthfully. "He didn't banish me but we did have a little disagreement." That was an understatement if there ever was one. "But we got over it" she assures the older woman.

She smiles over at the Parker boy but he just glares back at her. It's good natured though which makes her grin widen.

"Good. You're best friends. You shouldn't fight" his mother tells them, eyes bouncing between the two, there's a concerned look on her face though she tries to hide it with a glittering smile.

"You're right. I won't let it happen again" she promises, in total agreement with the older woman. Fighting with Kai was something she did not care to do ever again.

"You spending the night, darling?" his mother asks, glancing down at Bonnie's sleepwear. Her look though had not been like the one Kai gave her earlier. His eyes lingered, Pamela's hadn't.

They didn't linger. You're overthinking it.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I should've asked." she comments, a frown tracing her mouth, realizing her faux pas.

But more like Kai should have cleared it with his parents first instead of assuming they'd be fine with her staying over. She relays this with the heavy look she tosses at him. He merely shrugs. Of course he does.

"No, don't be silly." Pamela is quick to dismiss. "You're welcome to spend the night whenever you want. You're family and don't you forget that"

"Thanks, Mrs. Parker" she responds, feeling the toddler grow restless in her arms.

"Of course, honey" the older woman smiles, causing her to appear even prettier. Sometimes Bonnie couldn't understand how someone like Pamela with her obvious good looks and sweet southern charm could end up with a loser like Joshua Parker. Didn't she want better for herself? For her kids? It was so confusing to her how the older woman didn't recognize her worth. Not to say Pamela was without flaw, because let's be honest, she was away from home more than she was there, she depended on Kai and Jo entirely too much at raising her younger kids–but she wasn't an inherently bad person.

Joshua Parker though.. He was a drunk, a reckless gambler–never not blowing Kai's streaming money at local game rooms and casinos, an abuser in all forms, though physically, was now a thing of the past. When Kai got old enough, strong enough to defend he and his family, that all ended. But he was still verbally abusive when he got drunk. He and Kai had numerous physical altercations because of it. Kai had never called the police on his dad though, which she thinks he's crazy for. Bonnie tells him all the time that maybe he needs to go to jail. Sit there with the real criminals, if not only to scare him but snap some sense into him. Kai just looks at her like she's crazy when she says things like that to him. Like he couldn't fathom telling on anyone he loved because despite what Kai said to the contrary, he did love his father. And apparently so did Pamela. And that right there is why it wasn't her problem. If Pamela liked being treated like dirt then that was on her.

She just hoped her dad wouldn't do the same, happily put up with Abby's sh*t and accept whatever half-assed apology she throws his way. Don't get her wrong, she doesn't want her father to leave her mother but she also didn't want him to be a doormat. He needed to put his foot down, let her know this was the first and last time she would step out on him, on them...

"You hungry?" Kai aims at the blonde, carrying Lucas to his high chair. "I made chicken alfredo" he tacks on, while getting the toddler situated. And apparently mac and cheese for his siblings, her eyes note as they flick down at the meals situated on their trays. And not the store bought kind. Wow, he'd really been busy.

"No, I'm fixing to head out." she announces, shutting that down. Apparently there would be no happy family dinner tonight.

Bonnie's not surprised, his parents were rarely ever home. And if you did on the rare occasion catch them at home, they weren't around for long.

"Are you? I have company.." his eyes fly up to her, a look moving over his face like he's slightly annoyed.

"Well, your sister's here..aint she?" she questions, bringing a hand to her hip, eyeing him like she couldn't believe he was even questioning her about this.

"No, she's not." he blinks slowly at her. "She's spending the night at Jenna's"

"Oh, right" his mom is saying, the palm of her hand landing on her forehead in sudden recollection. But in all honesty, she probably hadn't forgotten at all. She most likely just didn't care.

"Your dad'll be home in a little while. Just watch 'em til he gets back. Can you do that for me, baby?" she implores, her tone suddenly super sweet, walking up to him then patting his cheek lovingly, a faint smile spreading over her pretty face.

He sighs heavily but agrees nonetheless, muttering a reluctant, "Yeah, okay"

"Now that that's squared away." she chirps, brightly, pulling her hand away. "I gotta get going. Call me if you need anything."

And like that she's gone.

After dinner, Bonnie brushes her teeth then heads back to his room. Kai takes the kiddos to theirs to get them ready for bed.

Leaving the door open for him, she plops down on his bed and goes through her phone. Her dad hadn't called, he had sent a text though.

How are you doing baby girl?

She responds with, Fine. U?

He doesn't answer. And she doesn't expect him to. At least not right away. He was probably still dealing with her mom, whatever that entailed.

She sighs, exits out of her texts. She pulls up FaceBook, scrolls through her friend's post, liking and commenting when necessary and when she's done with that, clicks into instagram.

The first post that hits her screen is one of Cleo. She's standing next to two guys, taking a selfie. The one on her right, who she knows to be her friend's brother, Caleb. The other, on her left side, a guy Bonnie's never seen before but honestly she can barely tell what he looks like being his eyes aren't on the camera, they're on her friend. She knows that smitten look when she sees it. She wonders if the two are a thing or if Cleo is oblivious to his affections. She makes a mental note to get the deets later. She really needs to FaceTime her friend. They've been texting nearly everyday these past few weeks. Bonnie even has plans on going back out to Virginia Beach in a couple of weeks, if Kai was down to drive that is. She still doesn't have her driving privileges, Elena was supposed to be the one to take her but now that that friendship has tanked, Kai was her only option. But to be honest, her plan may need to be scrapped all together considering all the sh*t that's gone on with her family. Just didn't seem like a priority right now though getting away would help relieve some of her stress.

She's in the midst of going through one of Anna's stories, a habit she's developed lately when Kai trudges into the room.

"They finally fell asleep. And it only took three bedtime stories" he relays to her, looking more tired than he should for his mere seventeen years.

"Aw, look at you getting your dad on" she smirks, placing her phone down on the bed.

He glares at her and a tinkle of laughter expels from her lips. "What? That's a compliment. You're a good brother"

"Yes, brother" he emphasizes the word, moving into the room, his gait slow and cautious.

"And what a good brother you are" she smiles cheekily.

He doesn't comment on that, just sits beside her on the bed.

After a few seconds he speaks, his eyes peering over at her. "What do you wanna do?"

Make out until we're exhausted from it.

She can feel her face flushing at the thought. He notices. Of course he does.

"What?" his lashes lower, mouth curling a bit.

"Nothing." she shakes her head shyly, her whole face hot, heat fanning up from her neck.

He frowns then nods. "Ah. You want to be alone." he says like he's finally figured it out. "I'm being a bonehead assuming you want company. My apologies. I'll let you have your 'me' time."

He's rising from the bed and her hand, fast as lightning shoots out, gripping and pulling him back down.

He glances down at her, his head angled as his widened eyes stare back at her, revealing how shocked he is by her actions. She swears her face flames even more.

"No, I-I don't want you to leave." she stammers out, letting go of his wrist, barely able to keep her eyes on him, "The last thing I want is to be alone right now"

He settles into the comforter, plopping down beside her, tossing her a look, "You wanna talk about it?" his expression, creased in concern.

She shakes her head in the negative. "I just…I don't want to think about it right now"

"Okay" he replies, not pushing her. And that's one of the things she loved about him; he always respected her wishes. Gave her space when she needed it. Was there for her when she was finally ready to open up. "You wanna watch a movie? I'll let you pick" he makes it sound enticing like the last time hadn't resulted in them not speaking for weeks.

And when she shakes her head. "Final Fantasy?" He offers up another way for them to waste their time.

"No. Can we just talk like we used to?"

A smile pulls at his lips from the clear memory of how things used to be, them talking for nights on end.

So to honor the memory, they discuss not just surface things like video games and music but about real sh*t like their fears, the future–their education beyond high school, what they both want from it. And when tapped out on the heavy talk for the evening, she switches topics, getting truly real with him.

"I just want to get away. From everything. This town. My parents. Backstabbing so-called best friends-"

He flinches and she realizes he thinks she's talking about him. With all the drama that was going on with her parents she hadn't had the chance to tell him about Elena.

"Not you," she immediately clarifies, holding his gaze. "Elena"

His expression cycles from chastised to confused to unbridled anger.

The latter emotion revealing that he knows Elena must have done something unforgivable for Bonnie to voice her desire to want to get far away from the brunette, to refer to the other girl as a backstabber.

So she tells him the entire story, not leaving out one detail.

"f*cking figures" he spits out looking quite murderous. Kai spoke about offing people and burying bodies all the time, this is the first time she thinks he was actually considering it.

She waits for the 'I told you so' to come but it never does.

"Aren't you going to gloat about what an idiot I am for befriending her again?"

"Now why would I do that?" he leans his head in a curious tilt, his voice registering deeper than normally. And of course it's sexy as f*ck. But she doesn't need to be thinking about his sexy voice right now so she pushes down the want and relays, "Because you're obnoxious AF" Giggles are out of her mouth at the look on his face before she's barely done speaking, his lips has turned down at the corners, his eyes glinting with massive disapproval.

"I'm going to need you to not speak in text talk, okay?" he teases, latching onto her gaze, amusem*nt starting to twitch the corners of his lips. "I'm starting to think these cheerleaders are a bad influence on you"

Instead of falling into their easy banter like she normally would, she updates him on her cheerleading status.

"I think my cheerleading days are a thing of the past" she voices, sounding slightly wistful. As much as she didn't care for it in the beginning, by the end there she'd grown to like it.

"Right." he nods, remembering, offering her a sympathetic look. "Backstabbing best friend"

And when she doesn't comment, he relays, eyes going soft again, "I'm sorry you had to go through that." What's unsaid is the again. "Elena will get hers, I promise you. Someone that narcissistic and self serving, it's inevitable"

Now she's the one nodding, "Karma, Right"

He doesn't like her doubtful tone so he offers, "If you want, I could push her off a cliff" he strings out the words in a sing-songy way.

"Are you saying you'll be my henchman?" Faux adoration shines in her pupils.

I'm saying I'll be your whatever

He can't say that though, so he goes with, "I mean, give me your hitlist and I'll get started asap"

She smirks, her mood brightening which is all he wants.

"No need to off my ex bestie. Like you said, her karma will find her" she relays the words with a confident lilt but he can't help but note the sadness clouding her pupils, the strain pulling at her mouth.

He really hated that bitch Elena Gilbert. What a waste of space. He was only half joking when he said he'd push her off a cliff.

"You're a really good person, you know?" With what she knew, she could blow up Elena's whole world but doing that, getting revenge, it isn't even an option in her mind.

Her eyes stretch at his words and he could tell she was not expecting this from him. But then just as fast they're turning all tortured and sh*t making his heart clench.

"I'm not" she denies, her voice barely above a whisper, her eyes no longer able to look at him, flicking down to the bedspread beneath her, running her fingers over the smooth cotton material, the memory of what she said to him has guilt crushing down on her like a boulder.

But he isn't having her avoiding his gaze like this, doubting for a minute the type of person she is. Yes, she has her moments where she's a complete brat, blurts out the completely wrong thing to say at times, stubborn as all hell but ultimately she was the best person he knew. This damn girl would give you the shirt off her back, didn't even think twice about giving her last to homeless people off the streets, she even volunteers at soup kitchens during the holidays. A tradition her Gram had started with her when they were barely preeteens and that she kept going even after the older woman had passed. People like Caroline Forbes would never step foot in a place like that.

He reaches his hand out, allows his fingers to flutter along her chin before taking hold of it, tilting it up until her eyes are level with his. And when her gold flecked green eyes meet his. "You are." he tells her, "You care about people. Genuinely. The same can't be said about these jokers around here." She shakes her head, looking incredibly somber, so he hits her with some facts. "Do you remember when we first met? How Damon had taken my lunch and wouldn't give it back? How everyone was laughing and egging him on? You though," he nods at her pointedly. "You didn't join in on the teasing, the taunting. You confronted him. You called him out in front of everybody. Told him how much of a worthless piece of sh*t he was."

"Pretty sure seven year old Bonnie didn't call Damon a worthless piece of sh*t"

"You didn't?" He squints at her, his expression contemplative and when she shakes her head in the negative, he's tacking on, gaze not letting up, "Well, that's how I'm choosing to remember it."

She smirks, eyes glinting with humor, her mouth twitching, "I bet"

He chuckles, it doesn't go on for long and then he's getting back to what he was saying, "Anyway, you had my back Bonnie. Reported him to principal Saltzman even though you knew what would happen, how'd you'd be shunned for it. Kids wouldn't talk to us for months. But did you care about any of that? Ever try to make up with those sh*t heads? No, you ignored their glares, the whispers. Instead of ditching me like anybody else would have, you grabbed my hand everyday at recess and led us to the monkey bars. And you've been by my side ever since."

She wants to bury her face in her hands. Why did he do this? She didn't want him convincing her she was a good person. She wasn't.

He slants a looks at her, brows lifting. "Should I go on?"

"No"

He does.

"Or that time in middle school when my dad gambled all our money away and I didn't have lunch money for weeks. What did you do? You made sure your mom packed me a lunch along with yours just so that I had something to eat."

She's in the process of opening her mouth but he cuts her off, holding up a finger, shushing her, "Or what about that time you convinced your Grams to pay for me to go to Summer camp in exchange for me cutting her yard for the rest of my natural life"

Her eyes thin at him. "I hate you"

He ignores her, his expression sobering. "And that's not even it. You lied to me, you told me camp was only eight hundred dollars. It wasn't, was it?"

Her eyes widen, mouth parting slightly.

He smirks, feeling quite superior right now. "Didn't think I knew about that, did you?"

The only thing she offers is an owlish blink, too mystified to speak. And his amusem*nt grows, eyes glinting with mirth. He could find amusem*nt in it now, but twelve year old Kai found her charity humiliating.

"How were you going to pay for the other half?"

She shakes her head the way she does when she wants to get all stubborn on him but he's not having it, repeating himself, more stern this time. "How were you going to pay for it, Bonnie?"

She finally offers him an answer albeit begrudgingly, "Savings. My birthday money" she finishes with a half shrug.

"See what I mean?" Because he doesn't have to say anything else. This girl was going to use her birthday money, the savings she'd been putting away a good part of her life. And she didn't even think twice about it, she just wanted them to be able to spend the Summer together. So he wouldn't hear any talk about her not being a good person when all the evidence laid out before them said otherwise.

She still tries to make excuses, downplay things, eyes flickering away from his, she mumbles out a barely heard, "Whatever, we didn't even go"

"And that just further proves my point. You told them asswipes no, passing up a chance to get in with the "cool" crowd which your bestie didn't turn down by the way" he gives her a sidelong look. "-because you knew I would rather skin myself alive than hang out with those f*cktards"

And the first smile since he's started this convo appears on her face, "Can I just say you have quite the vocabulary on you"

"Don't try to change the subject" He doesn't allow her to distract him from his mission here. And despite the reprimand, humor filled eyes peer down at her. "Did I get my point across or do you need to hear more? Because there's a billion other stories that I could tell"

"Please don't" and she actually looks mortified.

"Okay, I'll just end with this. You, Bonnie Sheila Bennett are the best friend I could have ever asked for. If you had never come into my life," he pauses briefly, letting out a deep exhale. And she sees it, the heavy emotion flickering across his face, it's not there for long though because just as quickly, he's tightening up on his expression but she wishes for once he would let go of this need of forever needing to be tough. "Who knows if I would even be here right now." Her heart pinches in her chest, remembering the dark period he'd had there in middle school during the height of his bullying where he'd gotten all depressive. She's not going to lie, things were looking bleak there. She noticed a change in the bullying, it got a lot crueler that Fall eighth grade year began, after the Summer they refused to join the popular kids at Whispering Pines. Damon having enlisted more of his friends to join in on the taunting, the teasing, the beating. He grew depressed. Seeing the signs, Bonnie notified the school after failing to get help from his parents, Joshua Parker had said and she'd never forget, Don't worry about that damn boy, he's just looking for attention. In that moment, she wanted him to die. She knew it was a terrible thought to have, rooted in all kinds of wickedness her Grams would say but it's how she felt. His mom was no better, going along with whatever Joshua said, no mind of her own. But fortunately, the school had intervened and he started seeing a licensed therapist once a week and it didn't happen overnight but eventually things turned around. "You think you're not a good person but you are. You're the best person I know."

She feels water pool in her eyes, "Ugh, why do you have to be so sweet?"

"What did I tell you about using that word in relation to me, huh?" he offers up a half smirk, his deft fingers, reaching up, collecting the salty evidence of her emotions.

"Shut up. You are." she voices, taking a heaving breath and relaxing her shoulders in an attempt to reign herself in, "And you're wrong, I'm not a good friend. I said some really terrible things to you" Not to mention ignored the only true friends she has.

He slants her with an almost pained look. "We both did."

She goes on despite him trying to absolve her. "I accused you of lying about my mom to feel better about your own family. That was so low." she breaks eye contact with him, feeling shame engulf her. Out of all the things she said, she wished she could take back that one the most. But there was no redos in life, what's done is done. She'd just have to ensure from here on out that she didn't let her emotions rule her and spit out something she'd later regret.

"You're still human Bonnie." He explains to her in a far more gentle tone than what she deserved.

He's right. She shouldn't have to be reminded of this. So many years of trying to be perfect. The perfect daughter. The perfect student. The perfect friend. She'd allowed herself to fall under unrealistic expectations. Expectations she put on herself because she was forever the pleaser. But she knows now no one expected for her to be perfect; they just wanted her to be Bonnie.

"Look at me," She feels his hands on her, lifting her chin, until their eyes meet. She hadn't even realized her eyes strayed away, so lost in thought.

He goes on, mouth twisting wryly, understanding flowing into his shadowy depths, "I ignored you for a week"

"Two." she buts in, holding up her middle and index finger. "And then some more after the woods encounter but who's counting"

"See what I mean? I'm a dickhe*d. I shouldn't have let it gone on that long" And now he's the one looking ashamed.

She licks her lips, nodding. She couldn't argue with that. Not the sh*thead part but the fact that he shouldn't have allowed weeks to go by without speaking to her. She has to remind herself though she'd also played an important role in why they weren't speaking as well. "We were both to blame"

"Agreed" He tilts his head down, an attempt to catch her eyes better, "Think you can forgive me?"

Her head inclines as she watches him through hooded eyes. "I already did Kai, hence me being here in your bed right now"

He looks satisfied with that. "Good." he says, his smirk lighting his face up. He touches the back of her hand, holds her gaze, "And I forgive you too"

She proceeds to roll her neck in a dramatic gesture. "Um, did I ask for your forgiveness..?" she says, overdoing it with the false sass.

He hits her in the head with a pillow. Her mouth hangs at the attack. At her face, he busts up.

"I was just kidding." she stretches out after the shock of his assault wears off, "God you're so violent"

And the comment has her mind going back to Kai smashing his fist into Hudson's face, he must be thinking of it too because he goes suddenly quiet, the smile dying on his lips.

"I know why you did it now." she pauses, eyeing him carefully. "Why you went off on Hudson" she goes on, her watchful eyes flickering over his face, searching for a reaction.

The only thing she gets is an uptick of a brow, otherwise no real response from him.

"Not that I'm excusing violence but I get it. The thought of anything happening to me had you seeing red. Because then who would you have to terrorize day in and day out?"

He snorts out a laugh, his face becoming lively again. "Yep, that's it"

And then after a lengthy pause, his eyes flick to her, tone hardly curious, "Did he really need to get surgery?"

"Do you honestly give a sh*t?"

His responding laugh is all the answer she needs.

She answers his question anyway, voice gone serious, all traces of humor having faded like a wisp of smoke. "Yes, he had to get surgery. You really hurt him, Kai"

"I could say the same thing" he intones low, his words flat, eyes just as depthless.

Her brows pull down in a frown, she stares at him mystified. "He barely touched you"

He wants to say, Not literally Bonnie, that joker couldn't touch me even if I were battling three of him but he doesn't want to piss her off. Doesn't want to fight. He's done doing that with her. Because if she couldn't piece together why he said what he said, the fact that his whole world could have been ripped away from him because of drunken stupidity then that was on her.

His eyes flick down, jaw clenching, the thought that she could not be here right now drives him mad, He should have killed that guy, he thinks regretfully. He definitely wanted to. If Bonnie hadn't stopped him from going to town on that prick he would be somewhere meeting his maker.

Her hands are on him, tugging at his wrist which fingers were now pinching the bridge of his nose. And when did that happen? He hadn't even been aware of his actions, so consumed with momentous rage.

He drops his hand, hers falling away with it, the action making way for him to view her pretty face. A ripple moves over her brow as she gets out, "Are you okay?" She looks worried but of course she is, she wouldn't be his Bonnie if she brushed away his obvious anguish.

"Yeah, just kind of tired" It wasn't really a lie, driving out to Lynchburg and back, cooking dinner, tidying up the house, looking after Bonnie, preparing his siblings for bed, he was spent. But that wasn't the reason for his actions. But he couldn't very well tell his friend it was taking every ounce of his restraint to not go hunt that Hudson guy down and re-break his pretty nose.

"Do you want to go to bed now? It is after ten" she notes, glancing at the digital clock on the night stand then back at him, resigned to calling it a night.

"No, I'm good Grandma" he remarks with a humorous lilt, falling back onto the bed, never taking his eyes off of her while doing so.

She simply shakes her head, lips twitching at the corners and he knows what she itches to say, I hate you. Her favorite line.

"Lets just talk" he reaches out for her hand and she takes it, inwardly sighing with relief when she doesn't even hesitate. He normally isn't this bold, touching her so much in a span of one day, never wanting to reveal his feelings but again he doesn't give a f*ck anymore. He wants to feel her slim fingers threaded with his own. Wants far more than that but for now, this will do.

"What about?" the query comes from beside him, a curious lift to her voice.

He doesn't have to ponder long, he knows what he wants to ask her. "You said earlier you wanted to get away"

"Yeah.." she blinks at him, lengthening the word but she probably already knows where this is headed despite her inquisitive expression.

"Where would you go?"

She drops the word out without thought, "Indonesia" it's said dreamily, like it's been on her bucket list for a while now.

"So not like Texas?" he frowns, a groove appearing between his brows.

She laughs but it's smothered by her hand.

He grins at her, satisfied he could make her do that. She's had a sh*t day. He'd make a thousand dumb jokes if it meant it would make her feel better.

"What's so awesome about Indonesia?" he says conversationally, bringing their hands up, studying their entwined fingers, admiring her dainty digits and pretty pink nails. Such a girly color for her, thirteen year old Bonnie would have frowned up in disgust at the shade. He likes it though. Clearly, his hair is damn near the same shade. But he's sure he'd love any color on her.

"I don't know," her shoulders lift in a casual way that belies her thoughtful expression. "It just seems like it would be really peaceful and I need that right now." And then her eyes spark suddenly, brightening up her features, "Besides, have you seen it? It's practically paradise"

Giddily, she starts to show him pictures on her phone from her pinterest account. She has a whole board dedicated for her dream trip she's probably never going to take.

"Jesus" he voices, scrolling through pictures of Git Git waterfalls which makes the falls here look like a sewer drainage. Menjangan island and Bonnie swears she didn't know so many hues of blues could exist in an ocean. And then there's Mount Batur at sunrise, the volcano backdropped by a kaleidoscope of orange, reds, purples. Pretty as a picture. He clearly agrees, "Damn Bon, now I want to go" he informs her with salivating eyes.

"We could go together" she throws out, tossing hopeful eyes at him.

He snorts at the suggestion, "Yeah right" he says as if it's something completely unattainable, as if their dream vacay wasn't just a click away.

She squeezes his fingers, the action garnering his attention, his gold flecked eyes flick to her, "What? We could do it? What's really stopping us?"

"School for one.." he relays with lazy insolence.

She rolls her eyes upward at the flimsy excuse, "We're seniors, Kai. We can go after we graduate"

His tone that was just filled with apathy becomes suddenly pressing, "You're serious?" and then he's narrowing his eyes on her, gaze having gone speculative. Like he only considered the invitation as half hearted before.

"Yes." she lengthens, blinking pointedly at him.

"Would you want to?" she hates how timid she sounds, she thought she was done with this sh*t. Her tone alone was enough to get him to say no.

His mouth drops slightly and then he's saying, his lovely lips curling a bit, revealing a dimple edged smile, "I don't know if I should. I don't think I would want to leave"

"We wouldn't have to" she suggests stupidly. What was she thinking? Of course they would have to leave.

The pressure of his fingers loosen on hers, his eyes studying her closely, his expression slightly bemused. "What about college? Pretty sure you grilled me about not wanting to go weeks ago. Now you're saying you'd rather live it up in Asia instead of becoming the good little lawyer you promised your parents you'd be?"

Her eyes flick down, heat fanning her cheeks, suddenly embarrassed by the implication of his words. That goody goody persona she's known for. That she does whatever her parents tell her to do. Even when it comes to something as significant as her future profession.

And when she speaks, her tentative voice is low, "I've been thinking lately about possibly taking a gap year" She hates how uncertain she sounds.

Her eyes flick up at him, gaging his expression, taking in the raise of his brows. He clearly has an opinion but when he doesn't offer it up readily, she attempts to extract it out of him, "What do you think?"

His eyes that were just probing on her features shift to something more readable, something inspiring a bit of hope, genuine excitement. "You should do it" and the impassioned way he delivers the words has a grin unfolding across her lips.

She wonders though if the spur was rooted from his forever rebellious nature or if he genuinely thinks it would be good for her. Knowing him though, it was probably both. "We should" he corrects himself, a smile starting to bloom over the claw like expression he normally bears.

"So we're going?" she wants to know, eyes blown wide, her voice too hopeful, teetering on the edge of pathetic but she can't help it. She and Kai spending a year together in Bali was bliss to her.

He nods, wordlessly committing to the offer. But that isn't enough, she wants him to swear it. Her eyes turn serious as she peers at him, "Promise me we'll do this." she eyes him, her green eyes unblinking. "I don't want to hear any crap about gaming conventions or-"

He cuts her off abruptly, voice tinged with mild amusem*nt. "I'm down, Bennett." and then that smirk that she loves so much makes an appearance. "I think it's the best idea you've had to date" the way his eyes are glinting at her, she can tell he's being earnest and not just his normal teasing self.

Bonnie can't help but squee in excitement, "Oh my god Kai, we're going to have so much fun!" she promises, smiling like a loon. "I can see it now, us sprawled out on a beach somewhere drinking exotic co*cktails, you grouchily beside me mocking the other tourists.."

He doesn't comment but she can tell by the way his eyes are glittering that he's imagining the possibilities too. His visage is almost wistful.

His fingers tightens on hers and he lifts their hands up and for a minute there she thinks he's about to kiss the back of her hand. Breath stalling, eyes narrowing with keen intensity as she waits for it but then he lowers their limbs back to the bed and she deflates, the breath she'd been holding in slowly releases. Disappointment sits heavy on her ribcage, hating how she always lets herself fill up with stupid hope.

His eyes are on her again, they're not tortured or filled with impossible longing like hers probably are. No, he simply looks ruminative like his mind is still on their future plans. She feels foolish, of course he wasn't going to brush his lips over the back of her hand. Because that would mean there were feelings there. And that she knows he doesn't have. His cheeks dimple as he lets out, "Watch this be the longest school year ever"

Even though his thoughts doesn't reflect her own, it still warms her that he's excited about this. Spending an entire year traveling the world with her.

She lays down on the bed beside him, twisting on her side, their hands still clasps. "Oh, you know it will" she agrees. It was only November, they had seven months to get through. And even though they had their senior trip coming up, New York wouldn't hold a candle to beautiful Bali, not to mention the tagger-ons that would be getting in between her alone time with Kai.

"Your parents are going to kill you" he makes known, sparing her an amused look.

Bonnie simply shrugs, indicating just how many f*cks she gave about that.

"Wow. I never thought I'd see the day" And he almost sounds reverent.

"They'll get over it" she offers listlessly, not wanting to think about her parents right now.

"Is this another act of rebellion, Bonnie Bennett? Because I don't think I can partake in that type of behavior. I have an image to uphold" he says, teasing. Because they both knew Kai was the complete opposite of the obedient good boy he's painting himself as right now.

"It's not about that." she shakes her head, frowning a little. "I'm taking a year off from school because it's something I want to do. Not because I want to piss off my parents"

He studies her for a long moment, clearly trying to determine if he believes her and when he's satisfied with his findings, he's nodding softly, "Good"

He shifts on his side, turning to face her, eyes dropping lazily.

"You're tired. Go to sleep." she encourages, unclasping their hands, starting to sit up. "I'm going to go to the basem*nt" she tells him, her eyes canvasing his face, nearly smiling at how young he looks right now with his features all smoothed out and peaceful. The only time he looks like this is when he's nearly comatosed. She, however, couldn't sleep right now if she tried. Maybe she could find something on Netflix.

"No, don't leave" he forbids, suddenly alert, his dark lashes lifting, revealing those gold flecked miraculous eyes of his. He sits up slightly, reaches for her hand but she just stares at it, slightly confused at his insistence. Don't get her wrong, she's ecstatic he wants to touch her, she will always want that. But she doesn't want him pitying her, because she knows that's what this is about, him thinking she's this fragile little girl who can't make it through the night without coming apart. He doesn't have to coddle her, she's stronger than he thinks.

"It's fine, Kai, you can go to sleep without the worry that I'm going to off myself"

"I know" he blinks, defensiveness channeling through his tone, his face losing some of its tranquility, "It's for my benefit not yours. I missed this, talking to you"

Her heart swells. She feels the same. Though they talked earlier, this–discussing everything under the sun doesn't come around often lately. So she greedily takes advantage of his loquacious mood. She asks him what he wants to do after their gap year and he tells her how he wants to develope video games, like actually create them. She tells him he would have to go to school for that, he'd just chuckled and responded with, "Yeah, I kind of figured that out"

From there on they discuss any and everything. And when they're both barely awake, both having laid down sometime in the midst of their yapping, she asks, softly, running a finger over the lines of his skull tattoo. "Did this hurt?"

Her eyes flick up at him. She doesn't expect him to be already gazing at her. It takes her back a bit, causing her to nervously train her eyes back down to his bicep, suddenly shy under his keen gaze.

"Sure but I taught myself how to block it out." She wants to know his methods but is afraid to ask. How does someone like Kai manage

to block out pain? She shudders to think. "Plus, nothing truly hurts anymore after-" he gestures to his full sleeves.

"You're crazy, marking your body up like this. Did I ever tell you that?" she questions, eyes peering up briefly, still touching him.

He doesn't answer, instead relays, a blissful note to his voice. "That feels..nice"

"Me touching you?" she queries, looking back up at him, not believing he could derive pleasure from this.

He nods slowly. His eyes shutting close, Adam's apple bobbing in his throat.

She doesn't know why she's so enraptured by this, watching it flutter up and down. It stutters her thoughts. She doesn't realize she's stopped touching him until his eyes are opened again, tuned her way, his pretty mouth parting, "Why'd you stop?" his voice low, filling the quiet.

She doesn't answer, doesn't know how to. What does she tell him? His Adams apple distracted her? That she was so consumed with the thought of licking it that she'd completely forgotten about everything else around her?

"Don't stop" he tells her. Commands of her.

So she brings her finger back up but not to his bicep, this time it lands on his face. She runs the tip over the slope of his nose, dragging it down slowly as his eyes flutter close again. Then she's touching his eyelids then his mouth, tracing the perfect shape of it. She watches as it parts. Pulling the digit back, her finger posed over the lush pillows, hesitating for just a moment before going to his lip piercing. Tentatively, she touches it. Feeling the cool gleam of metal against her skin. She wonders what it would feel like pressed against her lips.

And as if he's heard her thoughts, his eyes flicker open. But he doesn't look scandalized, he looks how she feels, consumed with want. It's confirmed when his eyes cloud over, his nostrils slightly flaring out. His gaze, devouring.

And then she sees it, feels it..The tip of his tongue press against the pad of her finger. Her eyes widen but she doesn't pull away. He watches her for a long moment with that penetrating dark stare of his before he repeats the action, licking her again, making it real this time. Oh my god. Her mind is screaming. A static sensation coursing through her. Is this really happening? She wants to pinch herself to make sure she's not dreaming. But there's no way she could be, the butterflies that were taking flight in her stomach felt too real.

And then his mouth is pulling away and she wants to scream nooo but then one look in his depthless orbs tells her he's not done with her. She watches as it clouds over with ravenous need causing desire to pool low in her womb. The air charging around them, causing a static electricity to course through the room, leaving the hair on her arms to rise. He leans in, his intentions clear, he isn't hesitant in his movements and the fact that he knows what he wants has adrenaline shooting through her veins. Bonnie echoes his actions, closing in until their lips are finally touching.

And all she could think in that moment is finally.

She hears a moan rumble in his throat at the seal of their lips, a embarrassing whimper leaving her own as the cool metal of his piercing stings against her hot mouth, providing a balm over her heated flesh, those elegant fingers of his sliding into her scalp, tentative at first and then demanding, pulling her closer to him in consuming need. And she obliges, because of course she does, pressing in so close until they're flush against each other, so close she can hear the inhales he drags in through his nose, feel his heartbeat in his chest, the goosebumps that scurry along his arms. The mere fabric of their clothes–the only thing separating their eager bodies.

With a growl, he rolls them over until he's hovering just above her and this, she nearly shudders at the feel of his hard form pressing into her, the near fusing of their bodies together, the way his knee is nudging its way between her thighs, his own nestling against her core. Could he feel the heat there? Does he know how badly she wants this? How badly she wants to grind against him just to get some friction going but she steadies herself. We have time, she reminds her lust-addled mind. So she lets the feeling take over, that raw electricity that's charging her skin, turning her body into a livewire and melts into the kiss, melts into him, completely surrendering herself to it as he uses his mouth to pry hers open, his talented tongue seeking out her own, licking into her mouth, heat flashing through her body the moment their tongues touch.

It's bliss and sweet and everything she's ever wanted. Finally having him explore her this way, is like getting everything you wanted for Christmas. She's dreamt about it for years, quite literally. And now the moment's finally here, all charged, electric and euphoric–she had been chasing this exact feeling that night with Hudson when she'd taken the X–but that had nothing on this. This is better than any drug she could ever take. To say that feeling paled in comparison would be the understatement of the century.

She mewls at the feel of his touch, the way his hands were everywhere, calloused, warm palms sliding up her bare thighs sending tremors to flow throughout her body, up under her tank–ghosting the skin of her waist, the swell of her breast, which are crazy sensitive right now, her nipples rock hard and begging to be touched. She nearly aches for it. She nearly begs for it. Her dignity, the only thing that stops her. Her hands, those past attempts at pleasuring herself aren't the same as him touching her. The feeling could never be duplicated. And it's dangerous, she thinks, that he has already spoiled her for anyone else. But then again, she doesn't want anyone else. Other boys were obsolete as far as she was concerned.

He continues his feral exploration of her mouth, diving into the depths of it, tasting, taunting, owning. The warm cavern welcoming his eager strokes greedily. Her nails dig into his back, threatening to puncture the cottony fabric of his shirt, guiding him nearer, the heat from his body soaking into her causing her to sigh into his mouth. Her tongue tangles with his own as the ardent muscle licks hungrily into her mouth. She relishes at the taste of him, committing it to memory, her eyes closing in bliss at the feel of the slickness of his tongue, the way it expertly slides against her own. And then his hands are on her chin, opening her up so his tongue can flick against the roof of her mouth, the act masterfully taunting. She tilts her head back, obediently, hears the moan that climbs up her throat at his easy seduction. If Bonnie wasn't careful she would f*ck this boy. Plain and simple. She's not lying when she says she wasn't ready for that–everything sex entailed–but for him, she's not sure her lips could utter no if that's what he wanted. And that worries her, the things she would possibly do for him, the things she wouldn't deny him of. But she pushes out the thought, not wanting to think how weak willed she was when it came to him, how much control he had over her emotions, letting her mind return to the present and the way his tongue is twisting and tangling with her own, plundering away until her toes are curling. She didn't think it would be like this. She imagined him taking his time with her with soft hesitant kisses. He must have thought about it and said no, f*ck that tentative sh*t. He's owning her. And she loves every minute of it. He could ruin her and she would say thank you.

If this was what the girlies spoke about in the regency novels she used to steal from her mom's room about being ravished, if so, then bring on the ravishing. She was all for it. She lets him know this, responding in kind, humming her ascent, turning them both over to their sides, hiking a leg over his hip, lapping at his tongue, matching his enthusiasm with equal measure. There was a battle going on for sure, and she honestly doesn't know who's taking the lead.

Probably him, he's wanton for her. Can't get enough. She can tell by his unyielding mouth, his fiery touches–how they're all over, hot and greedy, the growls emitting from his throat, the dominating way he's tonging her down, how the kisses are growing more heated by the second. She didn't think that was possible. His hands, staking their claim over her. Letting her know just who she belongs to. He doesn't have to say the words, his body is doing the talking for him. And they were everywhere, on her waist, fluttering along the curve of her spine, tasting her slender neck before curving around to her nape, fisting a handful of dark hair, dragging her closer.

Their bodies strain hungrily against each other, dying to get closer(though it was an act of futility, they could never get close enough)chest heaving wildly in synchronized rhythm. It was org*smic the way their bodies molded against each other, like puzzle pieces that fit perfectly in place. And he was completely insatiable. Proving this with every stroke of his tongue, growl in throat, thrust of his hip. And she feels all of it, the way he's straining behind his zipper. Bonnie's never thought about Kai's size before, yes–she's thought of them doing the act, how special it would be but his actual size, she's never given it any thought. Because she didn't care. She was in love with him, so she would have taken him even if he was less than average. But that is so not the case. And she nearly sighs because of course he has a big dick. And she could really see herself being hooked on it. Scenarios are playing out in her mind, imagining all the fun she could have with it. That naughty side of her, the side she keeps hidden, wants more than anything to touch him right now but she doesn't know if he would be okay with that, this is their first time making out and she doesn't want to assume.

And just like that, as if reading her mind, he's pulling away..

His eyes blink open, his face revealing an anguish look to it and she's utterly confused. Why does he look so pained? So distraught?

"sh*t, I'm sorry" he apologizes, touching his lips. Though his expression was all angsty and tortured, his eyes still held onto hints of lust, but also he looks awestruck. "I shouldn't have done that" he tells her, his words in contradiction with his expression.

He's sitting up now, his countenance sobering with each blink of his eyes. The more the action is repeated the more regret is revealed.

She doesn't like the contrite look on his features. "What? Why?" she shakes her head not understanding, her voice a dial above a whisper.

But before she can get an answer out of him, his bedroom door is swinging open, revealing a messy head toddler standing in the doorway.

She thinks this is the first time she's not happy to see the little one.

Kai doesn't share the same sentiment. He actually looks relieved at the distraction. The fact crushes her. "Hey buddy, what's wrong?" he queries in that gentle voice he uses wherever he addresses his younger siblings.

"Monster" the child answers in near tears, the trembling of his cute bottom lip letting her know they're well on its way.

Kai's face softens. "Aw, what did I tell you, Lucas? There's no such thing as monsters"

But his brother isn't having it though, the emphatic head nod telling him he highly disagrees.

Kai tosses Bonnie a look, relaying to her that he needs to take care of this. She nods and then he's off with the three old to fight monsters.

It's a good thirty minutes before he returns.

Instead of making his way into the room, he leans on the doorframe, lets her know, not looking shifty at all, "So um..I'm going to go sleep in the basem*nt." he jerks a thumb behind him. "You can have my bed"

Really? So he was just going to leave as if they didn't have sh*t to discuss? As if his tongue wasn't just lodged down her throat?

"Kai, what's going on?" Bonnie asks bluntly, not letting him dip out on her without explaining why he was leaving. Why he didn't feel comfortable looking at her right now. "You just kissed me" Senseless she thinks but doesn't say. "-and now you can't even be in the same room as me"

He sighs. "I shouldn't have kissed you. Not when you're.." he scrubs a hand down his face out of frustration, looking completely miserable. "God Bonnie, you're f*cking morning your parents marriage and here I am making moves on you. It's disgusting"

She blinks, beyond shocked that this was why he stopped kissing her, what's got him so torn up right now.

And when she doesn't say anything, he alleges, his expression filled with heaps of frustration, "Look, I'm an idiot, okay? I'm sorry. You don't even know how much"

"Kai, I wanted it too" burst from her mouth.

But his expression doesn't show even a hint of relief. Actually, it looks to have grown even more pained. "Of course you did. You're vulnerable right now. And I-." he stops himself then sighs heavily before tacking on, "I'm going to go down to the basem*nt and not be the dick who makes a move on their best friend while she's going through sh*t."

"Kai-" she starts but he's not having it.

"Night, Bonnie"

He can't fall asleep. He's been trying at it for at least two hours now. But it's impossible for him to wind his mind down. All he can think about is Bonnie and that kiss they shared. Kiss.. he nearly scoffs at the thought. What an inept word to use to describe what they'd just done. Because kiss is what he'd done before with the meaningless hookups he used to fill his time with in the past to take his mind off Bonnie. This, what they'd done in his room mere hours ago, was far beyond the act. Far beyond anything he's ever experienced. And that said a lot because Kai considered himself quite practiced at all things hook up related.

The teen squeezes his eyes tighter, trying to rid himself of the thought of her lips, how plump and soft they were. How sweet her mouth had tasted. Like the berries she likes to eat everyday at lunch. How they moved so effortlessly against his own. The lush pillows having driven him to the point of absolute madness. He can't think these thoughts. Not when he told himself he wouldn't kiss her again. Not now, at least. When she was all vulnerable and heartbroken over the dissolution of her parents' marriage. He feels like scum. Like the sh*t that rested on the bottom of sewers. Allowing his emotions, his desire for her to override all logical thinking..what he ultimately knew was right. Kai, was no saint, never claimed to be–so far from his best friend where morality was concerned. However, he made a concerted effort daily to not be a trash human being. He knows kissing your emotionally distressed friend was no go. And yet…

The thought that she could wake up tomorrow or even a week from now, after heads are cleared and think he took advantage of the situation, that was the most sobering thought of all. That she could view him differently. Equate him to the likes of Damon and all the other hound dogs who only wanted her for sex.

He's stewing in the thought when a brush against his shoulder blades pulls him out of his reflections. Immediately, his eyes are flying open, body twisting around to face the owner of the limb that had tentatively tried to wake him though he was never asleep to begin with. Squinting, he tries to make out the person in front of him but it's pitch f*cking black in here and he can't see sh*t. Pulling out his ear buds, because that would help in case the person is actually saying something right now. And like he thought, soft words are being spoken into the quiet room, Kai, catching the tail end of a question, "-we could talk.."

Bonnie.

Kai blinks up at her, he's starting to see the faint outline of her petite form, hating how every lush curve is becoming more visible by the second because the last thing he needs to do is think about her body right now. Despite the lovely visual, a lump forms in his throat at the girl he's been raking his mind over for the past two hours standing before him all hesitant and soft spoken. He clears his throat, pushing down the blockage, "What?" he croaks though he's sure he knows what this is about. She thought about what happened upstairs between them and determined he was a creep. Kai takes a bracing breath, prepares himself for the heartbreak.

"I said, can we talk?" she repeats herself, her words just as soft spoken as before.

"Sure" he manages to get out, sitting up and making room for her on the couch. But realizing she probably can't see the gesture, he reaches out, takes hold of her hand, guiding her to sit beside him.

And she does, so close, he can feel the brushing of her legs against his own, smell the citrusy notes of her body wash.

"What's up?" he prods when a long moment passes and she doesn't speak, smoothing out his voice like he hasn't been thinking about her nonstop for the past hour. "What are you doing down here?"

He hears the steadying breath she takes before the words flow out, "What happened earlier.." she starts. "I want you to know you did nothing wrong"

The very opposite of what he thought would come out of her mouth. But he doesn't need her absolving him. He should have never kissed her. Not now. Not like this.

"Bonnie..I think.." he begins and feels the bile form in his throat at the words that were about to leave his lips. "-that you should deal with your family issues, in which I'll be here for you all the way but what happened earlier.."

Bonnie feels like the dullest of daggers has been sunken into her chest. It's a long while before she speaks, his words having left her mute. Because it was clear what he meant. He regretted what happened between them. "So you kiss me and then you push me away…" she notes, nodding, hearing the bitterness bleed through her tone.

"Trust me, that's the last thing I want to do." he voices, sounding incredibly tired and pained if she's honest. "I want you more than anything, Bonnie" he admits and hope fills her but then deflates when his next words are dropped out, "But I wouldn't feel right if I allowed us to happen when you are so vulnerable. It feels slimy."

Bonnie starts to laugh. He doesn't know. Has he really not figured it out yet? That she's absolutely, devastatingly in love with him? That she's wanted his lips on hers way before this sh*t with her parents ever happened?

"Kai, I didn't kiss you because I needed to numb the pain, I kissed you back because I wanted to. Because I want you."

Kai nearly groans. She can't say things like this to him. Not when he's really trying to be the good guy here. Besides, he has to remind himself that he can't trust anything she says right now. She isn't thinking with a clear head, she's too engulfed with emotions at the moment to know what she wants.

"Did you hear me?" she asks and he can hear the anxiety starting to laden her voice. That tone did him in. He wanted so badly to smooth that worry line away, the one he knows is forming between her brows. But he controls himself, touching her right now would only lead to more touching and other things and yeah…

"I want to believe that, I do. I just-"

"Stop" she interrupts him abruptly to say. He feels her hand cover his own, the soft brushing of her thumb over his hypersensitive skin. He ignores the heat fanning over his body at her touch. Ignores the need to touch her back.

"What?" he probes curiously, straining to see her beautiful face in the dark and being disappointed when he realized there would never be enough night vision in the world to achieve this. He wanted so badly to stride across the room and hit the lights but Bonnie was leaning in, he could see just enough in the dark. She's bringing her sweet scent with her causing his head to swim with lust and he loses all desire to do anything but bask in her sweet aroma.

"Getting in your head.." she intones softly, stroking his face. His insides flare at the way her fingers are ghosting his skin. Despite his efforts not to, he leans into her touch, "I wanted it. Still do. Have for a while now"

"Bonnie. Please." He breathes out raggedly, closing his eyes shut, his heart constricting in his chest. "Don't say stuff you don't mean"

He wouldn't be able to take it if she was just telling him what he wanted to hear, just so he'd give her that release she needed.

"I mean it" She's cupping his face now, her words incredibly soft, making his insides churn.

Kai's eyes flutter open and because he can't take it any longer, not being able to see her face, he searches for the remote. Once he's located it, he switches on the TV, It's on his firestick home screen providing a subtle light to the room. Enough to make out her beautiful features. "Really?" he finally questions, locking eager eyes with hers.

He watches as the corner of her mouth pulls up in a half grin, "Yes, you stubborn boy" she chuckles, making a move to climb into his lap. He doesn't stop her. And when she's firmly planted there–and if it was up to him she'd never leave–he allows her arms to automatically lock around his neck, her knees to brush against his thighs, digging into the cushions of the sofa as she gets as close as she can get.

The heat from her body presses into him as her mouth comes to hover just mere inches from his own. He expels a breath, waits for it but she doesn't kiss him though, just stares into his, he's sure, wanton eyes. Her hazel ones unblinking in its search for his soul. He feels the jackhammering of his heart at her proximity. His hand moves up to her face, cradles it as they peer into each other's orbs, "You're always so mean to me" he finally says in response to her calling him stubborn, stroking her cheek with his thumb.

Settling even closer, until she's brushing against his budding erection, she smirks, "Oh, is this being mean?" she voices coyly, her hot breath rushing over him causing his blood to run hot under his skin. "Because I'm pretty sure I'm being really really nice right now" she argues, rolling her hips slowly and for a second there he swears he blacks out.

They're both clothed, it's a fact and yet it feels as if there's nothing between them. He can't even imagine how good it would feel skin to skin. He can feel himself hardening even more at the thought. She must feel it too, him swelling beneath her because she speaks, eyes flicking down at his situation, "Well, look who agrees"

They've been making out for a half hour now, going from sitting position–her straddling his lap, to lying down–bodies pressed hungrily against each other, straining, aching for release, to her in his lap again, grinding slowly on him. Their tongues lapping lazily against each other, skin pressed so close they might as well be one, hands exploring but not going any further than that because this was new between them, being with each other in this way. She wanted to take her time with him and she knew he felt the same because not once had he tried anything more. His lips finally pull away from hers and he utters content, brushing his lips over her jaw, the cool metal of his lip piercing causing her skin to shudder in response, "I knew it would feel like this"

"What? Kissing me?" she wonders breathily, her fingers fluttering along his ribcage.

He nods, dragging his mouth against her chin and she angles her head back to give him better access. "That and just..being with you." His words are a whisper against her skin, goosebumps shouldn't form there being he's done this a million times tonight, whispering sweet words against her heated flesh but it does. He nibbles on her jaw then says, "You don't know how long I've waited for this"

At his confession, the butterflies emerge, fluttering around, not that they've ever been dormant, just more now..

"You waited for me?" The hope in her voice is almost pathetic.

He uses that lovely mouth of his to drop kisses behind her earlobe then confirms, sinfully low, "About ten years, give or take"

Her body stills and he notices. Pulling his mouth away to look at her. Those blue gray eyes flicker over her face searchingly but also there's a pinch of nervousness revealing itself in its dark depths. "What? Are you saying.." she responds, nearly breathless.

"That I've been in love with you since the moment I've met you? Yes." he finishes for her.

Other than the hitch of breath she takes, it's painfully silent. He loved her? And wait, since they've met?

"Does that scare you?" he voices into the quiet and she hates how hesitant he sounds, like he regretted saying it. She hates that she made him feel that way. She never wants him to filter himself around her; she wants to know his every thought.

She's shaking her head in denial, running a hand up his bicep, unable to keep her hands off of him, "No, I just can't believe you've wanted me this whole time. I had no idea"

You love me?

A wry smile pulls at his lips, his expression growing slightly bashful. She never knew she could see this look on him. "Yeah, well, I'm good at hiding my feelings"

"No sh*t" she comments at the fact that he's been hiding them since inception.

Her mind was seriously blown. She honestly had no idea. He always acted so cool around her, never frazzled. And the whole time he loved her..She'd be impressed if she wasn't a bit frustrated by the whole thing. All this time..

He chuckles. And after a few seconds she asks, eyes roving over his face, brows crinkling in curiosity, "Why didn't you ever say anything?"

His eyes flick down briefly, breaking eye contact with her, like he's embarrassed. "I wasn't sure if you felt the same." he explains then blue gray orbs are peering at her again. "And I didn't want to ruin our friendship on the off chance that you did"

There's a hysterical laugh that wants to peal out. Because Nora was so right. They were the most clueless individuals ever. How he hadn't seen that she was head over heels in love with him was beyond her. She was so sure she'd given herself away so many times. All those sleepless nights she spent agonizing on whether she exposed herself, her feelings for him. The meanwhile he had no clue.

And by the way he's watching her, so unsure, she knows he still feels that way, so she gives him the validation he needs. Touching his face softly, she tells him, "Well, I hope you know now that you were wrong. I meant what I said. I do want you, Kai. I want you more than anything"

He growls and the next thing she knows his lips are flush against hers, pulling and suckling on the bottom pillow before releasing it to say, "You don't know how incredibly upset I am with myself right now. Just think we could have been doing this so much sooner"

She laughs because it's true.

She feels his mouth move against hers as he speaks causing shivers along her skin, "When did you-"

"Start liking you..?" she finishes his thought. Or loving you rather..

He nods, his nose brushing against hers. More shivers ensue.

This was heaven to her, being held by him, his skin touching hers, his mouth so near..

"Seventh grade" she admits, not feeling embarrassed now that she knows how long he's hidden his crush.

"Jesus" he breathes out and with that she knows his mind is just as blown. Can practically hear his mind buzzing with questions. He pulls back to stare at her and she knows what he's thinking by the sad look on his face, so she voices to make them both feel better about all the wasted time they could have spent being together. "It's probably best nothing happened back then. We probably would have blown it. We're older, more mature, less likely to f*ck it up"

He looks hurt. "You think I would have f*cked it up?"

Her mouth peels open, considers him through dark lashes. She didn't mean to insult him. Had no idea he'd take her comment as she thought he was the more likely one to do so out of the two. "I didn't mean..I mean, I would hope you wouldn't."

Not better Bonnie. Inwardly, she winces.

"Bonnie," he grabs hold of her face, his palms searing, though at the same time the coolness of his rings provides a nice counteract effect to his fiery touch. He states his thoughts plain and clear for her, "I would never f*ck this up. It's all I've ever wanted. You have me as long as you want me"

That line told her so much, he was bracing himself for heartbreak. Well, they both had that in common then..Because if anybody could hurt her, it was him.

She doesn't want to get sad about it, the thought of how much power he held over her happiness. So she produces a playful grin, moving in and nipping at his lips, "You know what this means, right?"

"What?" he questions curiously, and she leans back and eyes him. Watching his probing eyes but also detecting a hint of amusem*nt shadowing his dark pupils.

"You're gonna have to break up with your girlfriend" she reveals, finally letting the grin she was holding back come to full bloom.

He blinks at her, then says in a stunned voice. "You mean I can't have two?"

Her expression shifts from playful to ice cold. Her glare has him chuckling, a nice throaty sound. But she wills her body to not be distracted by the pleasant titter. Leaning in, he pecks her mouth but she pulls away almost immediately to give him a scorching look.

"I'm only kidding." he tells her, pushing a tuft of hair out of her face, the tips of those elegant fingers of his brushing against her cheek, dark eyes still glinting with heavy amusem*nt. Even with him being annoying, she can't help but find him cute. "And you know Anna was never my girlfriend. You only said it to piss me off but look how it backfired" he teases, looking like he's seconds from busting up.

"I actually couldn't tell. You two were never not together" she relays glumly not adopting his gleeful disposition. It had been painful watching him with her, everyday at lunch she had to put on a brave face as they laughed and joked and bonded over their shared love of punk rock.

"We" he speaks up, voice steady, gesturing between the two of them, "-were never not together"

He's making a point to say that they too were joined at the hip once before all the sh*t between them happened–and were never considered a thing either.

But Bonnie isn't buying it. He took the girl to Homecoming. Kai hates sh*t like that. But he must have felt something for the other girl to push aside his ill feelings on the matter to please her. And she had to watch every miserable second of it, them dancing, grinding on each other, wrapped in each other's arms. "But you two were something"

At this, his gaze flicks away. He looks extremely uncomfortable. Good. This is how she felt every time she was forced to hang around the two, pretending to be okay with their budding relationship.

"Did you hook up with her?" she asks, her words way too abrupt sounding for her to try to pass it off as casual curiosity. It wasn't her business, she and Kai weren't together but she needs to know.

He finally looks at her after avoiding her gaze for what felt like an eternity.

"I don't want you to think about her." he tells her, grabbing hold of her face and using those breathtaking eyes to peer into hers. "She doesn't mean anything. You're the only person I've ever wanted"

Chin dropping, her eyes fall from his, unable to meet his gaze.

"So, yes then.." she ignores all the other sh*t he's said and focuses on what he didn't say. She glances back up at him when words from him never come.

She notes how all the amusem*nt that was on his face minutes prior is completely scrubbed from his features. His eyes lower, his lashes nearly touching the tops of his cheeks, "I didnt f*ck her, Bonnie, if that's what you're dying to know"

"Jesus, Kai." her voice pitches upwards, eyes slicing into his. "Do you have to be so crass?" she's scolding him but inside she does feel better knowing this. So he hadn't slept with her? Maybe he really did love her like he claimed.

He looks pissed. And she knows he's thinking about how she has some gall. She'd had her fun with Hudson. She couldn't question him about sh*t. "That's what you wanted to know, right?" he quips, his scorching gaze not letting up one bit. This is the Kai she knows, prickly even with the girl of his dreams. She's glad to know he will forever be himself with her.

"But you did other stuff.." She sounds batsh*t, she knows. Grilling him about a girl he had every right to be with at the time.

"We made out a couple of times" he admits but it's reluctant, ever since she's known him he's remained mum regarding his hook ups. She admired him for it before, now, not so much.

"That's it?" She studies him, trying to find deceit in his words and finding none.

"Yes," he voices softly, his expression tender as his peers at her, clearly over his bad mood. "And the entire time I was with her, I was wishing she were you"

Warmth blooms in her chest. "You promise?" Her voice is too hopeful. She was really revealing how pathetic she was. But for some reason she could hardly care.

"Yes." he drags out raggedly, looking tortured again. His fingers are on her again, his thumbs a caress against her heated cheeks. "f*ck Bonnie. You have me okay?" the emotions leaking through his tone was almost overwhelming. "I'm f*cking yours. You own me"

"I own you?" she breathes out, had meant for it to sound amused, instead, she sounds in awe. Which she guesses she is. This is still new to her, him declaring his feelings to her. And to be so fervent about it. They were just friends this morning and now they were what? Boyfriend and girlfriend? By the way he was looking at her right now she could tell there would be no talking phase. What was the point anyway? They already knew everything they could possibly know about each other. The only option left was just to be together.

Her hand falls to his chest as she peers into his eyes. Settles it over his heart, regards the way it thrums wildly behind his rib cage. Was she the cause of this? She takes in his expression, how serious he looks in this moment. Which would worry her except now he's nodding his head, "Yes. Forever as far as I'm concerned" he says, voice bare.

God, and to think it was people out there who would go their whole lives never experiencing this feeling.

Her lips spread the widest it probably ever has before. Her hand, the one that isn't splayed on his chest, she uses to touch her own, placing it squarely over her heart, "That's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me" she's teasing him, knowing he'll whip at her something rude.

He goes easy on her, simply rolling his eyes. "Shut up" but the words are playful.

Still grinning, she leans in, kisses his sensuous mouth. "Kai" her eyes lock back onto his the moment their lips part. "Someday you're going to have to face the fact that you're a marshmallow inside"

He pinches her side, payback for the what he perceived dig.

His eyes lower even more, his voice changing to something more sinister, "You remember how you said you were going to murder me then bury my body in the woods for no one to find?"

An arched brow hikes on her forehead, inching towards her hairline, "Yes?" her voice, hesitant.

"Well," his fingertips explores the edges of her face, his eyes flicking to her lips, "Not if I get there first"

Laughter bubbles in her chest. "See what I mean.." she moves a hand up to pinch his cheeks, only because she knows he loathes it. Pushing her lips out, she allows her voice to croon. "So sweet"

The indignant growl that comes out of him makes the laughter she was holding creep out. She titters until she can't anymore.

And when they've finally settled. "Seriously though, you own me too." she reveals in a more sober tone, all traces of humor long gone. She pulls in a breath, studying his pretty face, wanting to kiss every inch of it. "So don't break my heart, okay?"

He doesn't offer her words but the head nod he gives tells her they were in agreement. The serious way he regards her cements it as well.

She requests anyway, gaze not letting up one bit, her voice small to her own ears, "Pinky swear?" It was childish, something they've done since kids. Almost always instigated on her part. But it meant something, because when their pinkies linked together she knew he'd never break the promise.

"Are you ever going to grow out of this?" He's curious to know, a teasing glint to his eyes, one side of his mouth riding up at the corner. Despite his words, he holds out his pinky.

"Nope," she admits unabashedly, shaking her head, wrapping her own around his, cementing his promise. Yeah, no, they would be a hundred still holding up tradition.

He snorts though his eyes doesn't dial back on the humor. "You're such a f*cking dork"

Laughter burst from her mouth. She was sure his siblings in the other room heard it.

And because she knows how much extreme cheesiness pisses him off, she says, lowering her voice but still making sure it's all cursive loops, "But you looove this f*cking dork"

His brows scrunch on his forehead, lips tug down at the corners, "Who said that?" he asks, blinking at her, his face a picture of utter confusion.

She pokes an accusing finger at him, "You said that" she responds, voice amused.

Giving a half co*ck of the head, mouth pushed out prettily, his expression having grown even more perplexed, "Did I?"

She tries to keep a straight face but fails. "I hate you"

He sucks his teeth, expression doubtful. "The polygraph determined that was a lie"

And then he's kissing her, the feel of his lush mouth, hot and needy, sends a jolt through her. Sighing into his mouth, she lets him take control of the kiss, heart thrumming out of her chest at every stroke of his tongue.

The boy could kiss. She hates to think of how that came about. About how much practice he had to have gotten to be this good.

She finally pulls away, though not nearly having enough, her breath coming out in shallow pants, "Okay, I don't hate you" she changes her mind.

"No?" he teases, leaning in for another kiss, his voice dangerously low, all melted honey.

She shakes her head then closes in until their lips are in synchronized rhythm again.

It goes on for a while, him stretching her out on the couch, body perched over hers, tongues tangling, hands exploring, certain body parts becoming exceedingly hard. He doesn't let it go to waste either, his pelvis grinding into her which triggers a series of moans to slip past her lips. His mouth is disbanding from hers as he runs a hand down the length of her, pressing soft kisses at the juncture of her jaw then proceeding to trail his mouth down her neck, littering kisses along her shoulder blade. His fingertips angling her head to the side as his lips travel their way back up.

He sucks the skin below her ear causing lust to surf through her then using the edge of his tongue, he traces circles into her needy flesh. She mewls her appreciation, thighs clenching around him, her desperate hands gliding down his chest before sliding around his waist, dipping further down to his bum. She palms his ass, gripping hard, her nails pressing firmly into his tush.

And more sounds fill the basem*nt as he runs his tongue over the shell of her ear, bringing her closer, whispering dirty words against her skin. He's f*cking filthy and it's making her entire body flush with heat. He keeps on grinding, rocking his hips into that sweet spot as if they were f*cking, her hips meeting his with fervent desperation. They were literally humping the sh*t out of each other.

"We should probably stop" Kai informs her though his explorative hands are saying the opposite.

"And why would we do such a thing?" she murmurs, finding his lips again but when she seeks out his tongue she notices how unresponsive he's gone. No more trying to eat her alive.

Pulling back, she allows her eyes to flicker over his face, not understanding why he would ever want to end this. Was her breath not as fresh as she thought? She didn't think so, he would have said so by now. One thing about Kai is, he didn't mince words.

"Bonnie.." he breathes raggedly then forces them both to sit up. She crawls on top of him, straddling his thighs, still craving the feel of him against her flesh.

"What?" she pitches low, brows lifting in curiosity, ready for some unfiltered honesty. His words are really low when he speaks. "I'm like really close"

She's about to ask close to what? When she suddenly gets what he means, remembers how hard he is beneath her. "Ohhh" the words draw slow out of her mouth.

He laughs at her reaction but it's awkward sounding, almost stilted. "Yeah so...yeah.." he continues on with the awkwardness.

She squints at him wondering why he's being so weird.

His eyes shift from her speculative gaze, "I told you I've waited forever for this.."

Aw. he's embarrassed.

He doesn't need to be. She gets it. There were a few times it was starting to feel like a prelude, to the point she had to slow it down but unlike him she doesn't have to worry about exploding in her underwear, if she wore any that is.

She pouts like a bratty child, not ready to stop playing with him. She can't help it, this new way they were able to be with each other was intoxicating. "Can't you just like.. turn it off?" she gestures down at his erection.

He laughs. It's not forced like before, it's melodious and filled with warmth. She likes the sound. "It doesn't quite work that way." he explains, probably lowkey wishing he would have gotten with a more experienced girl.

Anna probably never tells him to turn his dick off. Hell, none of the girls he's hooked up with in the past would ever utter such a thing. They would suck him off until he came. But despite how much fun she was having, how much she wanted to please him, be pleased. Rushing into a sexual relationship with him had the makings of ruining everything. And he must realize that too hence his awkward FYI a minute ago.

"It sounds like a pain having a dick" she groans, dropping her head forward. She presses her face into his chest, inhaling his clean scent.

He makes a sound like he disagrees and she pitches her head up, eyes latching onto his, recognizing the heated look in his eyes, the very opposite of the way he should be looking at her right now. His hands fall to her face, fluttering along the edges of her jawline, soft, teasing caresses making her nearly close her eyes and sigh out at the sensation. She would never get tired of him touching her like this, so unlike the ways he touched her in the past. Those touches, almost always comforting, him trying to uplift her mood when her mom had made one of her thoughtless comments about how she could dress girlier or the result of when Damon had said something cruel. He finally closes in, hands cupping her face, pulling her closer then kisses her mouth. "There are perks to owning one.." he tells her, pulling away, not allowing his lips to linger. She wants to chase his kiss but doesn't, she's trying to be good here. It's so f*cking hard though.

"You can own one now?"

"Yep. You can name it too." he tells her, mirth glittering in his miraculous eyes.

She laughs then voices, her tone sad because she quite liked kissing him, didn't realize how much until she was told she couldn't do it anymore. "Do we really have to stop?" she pouts, playing with the waistband of his sweatpants. "I don't care if you..you know.." she trails off.

"Cum in my pants..?" he finishes her thought in that unfiltered way of his. And then in a doubtful lilt. "Sure you do."

She's about to argue when he places a palm on her hip, stopping her movements..and whoa she hadn't realized she had started rocking against him again.

"Sorry" she mouths embarrassed and he chuckles, his fingers catching the skin of her waist, squeezing, his desire filled eyes flicking away. He looks up at the ceiling and she wonders what he's thinking. She goes to climb off of him because her sitting on his lap can't be helping his situation but his hand squeezes down on her waist again, preventing her, "Don't" he forbids in a strained voice, "Just uh..give me a minute"

She sees his jaw clenching and it hits her how much he's struggling here. So she gives him that but then grows bored when it's taking longer than she expected for him to 'calm down'. "What are you thinking about?" she asks, hoping maybe her talking to him would distract him enough to get rid of his raging boner.

"My grandma" he reveals, tilting his head down to look at her again.

She breathes out a laugh, slapping his chest, peeking amused eyes up at him. "Seriously?"

He shakes his head, his chest rumbling with laughter and finally she starts to feel him softening beneath her, "No, I'm thinking of pretty much every scene on The Boys ever"

She scrunches her nose up at the filthy f*cking show Kai forces her to watch. But he was right bringing it to the forefront of his mind in a moment like this, because if that disgusting crap they pass off as entertainment didn't get rid of a boner, she didn't know what would. Seriously, it was almost like they were trying to top their level of disgustingness each episode.

"Please don't mention that show" she scolds him, frowning a little. "You're going to ruin my mood forever. That scene where that termite guy shrunk himself and went inside of that guy's penis then made him explode.." she recaps, nearly gagging at the memory. "So utterly revolting" she relays, mimicking him and the cute way he talks.

"Ah.. finally" the intonation comes. And she knows what he means. He's basically flaccid beneath her.

His arms wrap around her back like vines and he pulls her flush against his chest, kissing the top of her head. The act was far from sexual but still got her heated nonetheless.

Would it always feel like this with him? Would there ever be a time when his touches, his kisses didn't light her aflame? She couldn't imagine it.

Tipping her chin up, she peers up at him. His eyes are hooded low, so incredibly sexy but she notices they don't have the agonized look it held before, so she inquires, "Good now?" her mouth teasing into a grin.

He grins back, his pretty mouth tipping up ever so slightly, "Yep, thanks."

She can feel the pull at her lips, mouth stretching wider into a teasing grin, "Hey, what are best friends for if not to provide the most efficient boner killing material?"

He snorts out a laugh, which you would think wouldn't be sexy at all. Wrong. It was so sexy, everything about him was. Well, when he wasn't fumbling over his words trying to explain how turned on she made him. And if she was honest that made her hot too. The fact that his body responded so well to her. That she had him on the verge by just kissing alone. There was no petting, no use of tongues on areas outside of the caverns of his mouth and it still was enough to get him to titanium levels.

His hands that were gripping her waist, lowers just inches until they're resting over her hip, he squeezes, his fingers brushing the soft fabric of Jo's sleep shorts. Her lips split into a grin, glad they're still able to joke around like this, getting involved with your best friend could make a light hearted situation get serious real quick. The turning up of her lips only stutters when he proceeds to drag her body closer to him like he wants to resume the kissing they were doing before he had to put a pause on things.

Her brow crooks on her forehead, "Are you sure we can do that? I don't want you to like explode or anything"

"Don't make fun of me" he says in a sexy voice, nearly causing the smile to slip from her lips. He drags her as close as he can get her, erasing all space between the two and she breathes out trying not to shudder at their closeness.

"But it's so fun." she informs him, cheekily.

Leaning forward, brushing his mouth against her earlobe, he tells her. "You're terrible. You know that?" a shiver travels up her spine at the feel of his words against her skin. She finds herself leaning into him, wanting to feel his lips on her flesh, truly on her, not these torturous grazes.

"But seriously, it's not." he tells her and as if he can hear her silent pleads, his mouth drops to the spot behind her lobe, kissing her there. A content sigh escapes from her lips. "I blame you." he murmurs in between kisses. "Why do you have to be so f*cking irresistable, hm?"

Now she sees how a growl could emit from someone. She's never understood the animalistic act before. But right now, in this moment, his words, the way he'd said it, she gets it–how someone could be provoked to make such a sound.

But she banishes those thoughts, trying not to think about how he turns her on. Because she disagrees with him. She doesn't think she's irresistible. He is. She doesn't tell him this though, just leans in to place a sweet kiss on his lips.

And because she doesn't want it to turn into more, for his sake not hers, she could do this for hours..she allows her body to nestle deep into his chest, resting her head on his shoulder. She can faintly hear his heartbeat, how fast it's thumping.

He brushes fingers through her curls, his voice low and comforting, "I'm not used to this"

"What?" she probes, not lifting her head from his chest in favor of feeling the tips of his fingers dragging through her scalp.

"Getting what I want" he continues to play with her hair, her eyes nearly shut at how good it feels. "I need a minute to let it sink in. That this is actually real"

That nearly crushes her. The fact that he feels this way. Like everything up until this point has been a total let down for him. Bonnie may have never had Kai in this way before until now but she's gotten pretty much everything she's ever wanted before, love from her parents, friends, material things. She was extremely blessed. Privileged, if she's honest. But Kai, his life hadn't been so easy. But she doesn't want to dwell on this, it'll seriously make her sad. So she sits up straighter, finally looks up at him, his fingers slipping from her tresses. "Whoa whoa, slow down there buddy. I just wanted to make out," she tells him keeping a straight face.

He fails in that regard, his plump bottom lip curving ever so slightly, "Too bad. You're mine now, Bennett." he brushes his knuckles over her cheek tenderly.

This inspires another heated make out session. She doesn't know where she gets the will but finally she pulls away, breathless and far from sated, her lips plumped by his bruising kisses.

"I love you" she reveals softly, peering into his depthless eyes, feeling this sense of contentedness she's never felt before. Besides, he admitted his love for her earlier. She thought it was only fair she returned the favor. "Just in case you didn't know" she smiles then kisses his cheek, his nose, pulling back to study his face.

She watches the Adam's apple bob in his throat at the declaration, his arms growing tighter around her waist as his dark eyes stare down at her, filled with so much unfiltered emotion it makes a breath hitch in her throat. She sees happiness there, an abundance of it but also she sees notes of sadness peeking through, so she questions him, tone on the edge of worried, "What's wrong? You don't believe me?"

Immediately, the head shake comes, denying her words right away, "No, that's not it" he almost sounds insulted that she would actually think this.

Her brows trace into a frown, eyes narrowing to slits, she blinks at him, "What then?"

"Nothing" his words are soft, dismissive, a faint smile traces his lips but she can tell it's insincere. He's trying to pacify her but she's not having it. Touching his face, she tries to extract the truth out of him, peering at him with deeply concerned eyes, "Kai, tell me"

And when he still doesn't speak, she relays keeping her voice encouraging, "You can tell me anything. You know this"

It's a while before he speaks. She can tell he really doesn't want to say whatever it is that caused the sadness just now, but he does for her, "It's nothing, really, I just," He hesitates briefly before continuing. "You're the first person to ever tell me that. It just felt really good hearing it is all"

She's appalled on his behalf because she knows when he says this he doesn't mean lovers, he's speaking in general. To think his parents have never uttered those words to him ever, she can't even…to have a child and not relay your love to them is pretty f*cking pathetic.

He breaks her out her thoughts, demanding in that enchanting voice of his, "Tell me more" This is his way of not making a big deal out of it. He knows if he changes the subject they won't have to address what he told her just now. She debates on whether or not she will allow him to get away with it, but she knows pressuring anyone to talk about things they didn't want wasn't the way to go.

He waits, thumb brushing her cheek, all tender like he does. She's starting to learn that he's a very affectionate person. It was clear that his love language was physical touch. And not just in a, 'I want to rip all your clothes off and devour you' type of way. No, his touches were always tender, sweet..He was the type she could tell to dote on a girl. Something she would have never thought in a million years judging by his previous dealings with girls, not that he brought a lot of them around before but when he did he wasn't all over them, not how Jeremy was with his flings, "You first" she tells him.

It's a moment before he speaks, as if he's trying to decide what he wants to reveal to her, and then his voice resonates low and gruff, "I think about you all the time.." his fingers are trailing down her back, causing a tremble to run through the length of her. "It's embarrassing really. You're never not on my mind. When I wake up in the morning, you. Before I go to sleep at night, you. And every moment in between. You, Bonnie."

She smiles then bites her lip, absorbing his words before deciding. "So basically you're obsessed with me" is what she's concluded.

"Basically" he says in agreement, and she has to give him credit, he doesn't look at all ashamed to admit it.

His unabashed honesty inspires the equivalent from her, "Same" she reveals but he's not having it.

"No" he's shaking his head, not allowing it. "You don't get to piggyback off my answer. Give me something else"

She ponders over it for a minute then gives him, "I wanted to scratch Anna's eyes out the moment I saw her flirting with you at Tyler's party" she can't help but laugh, thinking about how the newcomer had brought such violet tendencies out of her.

The smirk forms slow and wide on Kai's lips. It looks like he wants to laugh but he doesn't. She gives him credit because she knows how deranged she sounds. Instead, in a commissary tone he relays, "And I wanted to set Damon on fire the moment I saw him standing in your foyer that day" And then she sees something dark pool in his eyes, a blink and you'll miss it moment and then he's back to that benign expression of his.

"I would have let you" Damon deserved that sh*t. And she's not even joking. In her case though, Anna had done nothing wrong. Damon on the other hand, had years of offenses to account for along with the biggest one of all, macking on his dream girl.

His eyes spark at her words, "See, I knew we were soulmates." He leans in to kiss her lips but she pulls back before they could latch, a single eyebrow slipping up her forehead.

"Soulmates, huh?" She's teasing him now but he only smiles goodnaturedly, then informs her, his low, smooth tone making her feel things, "Oh, you haven't heard?" he takes her hand entwining their fingers together. "This is a forever thing, Bonnie Bennett. You're never getting rid of me"

She nearly turns to a puddle in his lap. She's pretty sure they've skipped about a gazillion steps but she doesn't care.

"I think I'm cool with that" she voices with faux breeziness, then finally gives him the kiss she's been withholding. He takes it greedily, one hand entwined with hers at their side, the other holding her face, drawing her closer. She opens her mouth for him, allowing his tongue to slip inside, lapping lazily against her own.

Her eyes shut close, enjoying the delectable taste of him. Her fingers gets to exploring, slipping under the soft cotton of his tee. She glides them over the taut skin of his abdomen, feeling him shiver under her touch, a low humming in his throat and then he's breaking away from her lips to say, "That feels nice" the heat from his breath fanning over her lips, making her in turn shiver.

This is her first time touching him like this, she's been keeping her touches PG so far. He on the other hand wanted to explore every inch of her she could tell.

"Yeah?" she closes in again, nibbling on his lips briefly, tasting him then using the tip of her tongue, she glides it over his lip piercing, the hoop that hugged the bottom right corner of his lush mouth and then using it to flick at the silver barbell that rested on the underside of his top lip. She feels him nod more than sees it, a groan rumbling up his throat from her actions. Her hands are still exploring him, familiarizing herself with the planes of his chest. She loves that he's not overly built like the blockhead jocks at school. His body is perfection in her opinion. All leanly muscled and tantalizing tan flesh.

He allows her to continue to explore, sounds emitting from his mouth when her fingers grazes his hot spots.

Finally, she pulls away, going for the hem of his shirt, needing to get rid of it all together, but then she considers how he might not be fine with that so she hesitates, locking heated eyes with him, "Is this okay?"

He stares down at her with enough heat to torch the room. "I just had a moment earlier. I'm good now. Do your thing"

And she does. Up until the early hours of the morning, and when they're sated and snuggled up on the couch, spooning each other, he voices, his breath tickling the back of her neck. "Your dad's going to kill me"

She lets out a cackle then confirms his worst fear, "Oh, yeah. You're dead."

Epilogue

Bonnie glances at the clock on the wall, feeling her lips stretch out in a wince, anxious energy working its way through her body. Where the hell was Kai? He was supposed to be here twenty minutes ago. She couldn't imagine what was taking him so long. It wasn't like he bothered to turn on the lights when he got dressed being everything in his closet was a variation of black.

She glances around the room, the living area of her home filled with all of her closest friends, everyone of them dressed to the nines in their glittering gowns and fitted tuxes. Tonight was Prom night. The last hoorah before they were all off to college. Off to living their separate lives far away from this sh*t town. It was kind of sad though, knowing half of these people here tonight, who she considered friends, she would probably forget about in a few years or vice versa. Not saying her friends were forgettable but that's usually how things went after high school. Slowly but surely losing touch with people who you once thought of as your bestest of friends whether it was due to distance, college, careers, starting families whatever the case. That's just how it was.

"Maybe we should just leave?" Tiki throws out there, glancing at them all. "He can meet us at the hotel"

"If he's even coming" Jeremy throws out and Bonnie glares at him.

"He's coming" she assures the skeptical boy. Kai wouldn't miss this. He promised her. Pinky sweared. He was coming.

Jeremy's about to open his mouth to speak when a knock sounds at the door, effectively shutting him up.

She can practically hear the collective sighs from around the room. She tosses the loner boy a told you so look before gliding across the room.

Please be him, she thinks. She would be mortified if it isn't.

With flourish, she swings the door open, her lips automatically releasing her admonishment before he could even greet her, "You're late"

"I know, I had to pick up another corsage, the one I bought before suspiciously went miss-"

But his words all but fade out after that because all she can do is focus on the sight before her, eyes blowing wide in surprise. Kai, who had told her not to get excited after cementing their plans for prom, pointedly having let her know that he wasn't getting dressed up for that sh*t, his exact words–was standing before her in a three piece suit in Prussian blue, the electric shade not only matching her dress but making his recently dyed golden locks pop. And it wouldn't be Kai if he didn't add a dash of black to the attire, his loafers and the dress shirt and tie he wore under his buttoned down vest. Oh, and the handkerchief that peeked out from his suit jacket pocket.

He looked magnifique.

"You dressed up" she states the obvious, warmth filling her. She's touched, really. She knows it sounds ridiculous because hello this was prom afterall, would be considered low effort of him if he hadn't dressed up. But this was Kai, he'd gone to Homecoming in jeans and a freaking tee. He didn't wear tuxes. Or style his hair. Or manicure his nails. But he'd done all of this for her. So this, him looking like a Lord of England was a lot.

"Well, you deserve a date who actually puts forth an effort, so, yeah.." he trails off, his expression turning sheepish.

"Aw. He wubs her" someone croons from behind, It sounds suspiciously like Nora but that couldn't be right. The other girl's delivery was never one of crooning. Clipped words and harsh syllables was what one was met with when it came to the goth girl.

Bonnie doesn't turn around, eyes still glued on her date, her boyfriend, she still has to get used to that, referring to him as such, her lips tweaking up at the ends, "Are you like trying to compete with me or" she puts on a show of confusion.

"Shut up, dork," he says, rolling his eyes. It's all playful though because his eager hands are fast on her, grabbing her wrist and pulling her to him. He leans in, whispers in her ear, his voice low but heated. "You look f*cking beautiful"

A flush creeps up from her neck, spanning up to her cheeks as he pulls away to look at her again, or devour her rather. His dark orbs, hitting her all over, from her intricate updo that showcased her slender neck, to the sweetheart mermaid strapless gown that fit her like a glove, accentuating all of her lush curves. The complete opposite of the flowy gown she wore to Homecoming. Her dress then made her feel like a princess, the one she wore tonight, made her feel like a siren. Kai clearly agrees by the way his greedy eyes are eating her up. The scorching look, making her feel a way. He never not makes her feel beautiful. Like she was the most stunning girl in the world. It's absurd really, especially when her school is filled with tens but Kai never sees any of them when he's with her. He's always completely dialed in on her, his attention never straying. Always so attentive. Holding her hand, kissing on her, doting on her, Bonnie never having to lift a finger. Treating her like an absolute Queen. Sometimes she feels like she doesn't deserve all the attention, all the compliments he gears her way. He gets mad when she tries to shut him down, saying she was the most beautiful girl in the world and she would just have to deal. Her boyfriend is so sweet, she's seriously lucky. She thought after a few months of being together the lovestruckness would dim for him. Nope, he's still as gone as that first night they kissed and so was she.

"Okay, now that everyone is here, I'd like to get some photos before you guys are off" she hears her mom announce to them all.

Bonnie doesn't feel nauseous in her mother's presence anymore, like she did those first few months after she confronted the older woman and her boy toy, or ex boy toy rather. Abby had cut it off with him, promised she'd never see him again. That she wanted to be with Rudy, wanted her family. And her dad forgave Abby almost right away. There was a brief period there where the older woman had taken residence in one of the Savatore's boarding houses. It didn't last longer than a few weeks. Rudy, having told her to come home, laid out the threat that if she ever cheated on him again then she would lose him forever. Them forever. Because the teen wouldn't forgive either, she barely did this time, taking longer than her dad had to come around. It was three months before she could even speak to her mom again. And it wasn't like Abby hadn't tried, humbling herself and apologizing relentlessly, ending Bonnie's punishment early by rewarding the teen with her car again, buying her all kinds of expensive clothes and make up and shoes and sh*t she didn't need, as if she could buy her love. The younger Bennett didn't let any of that sway her feelings though. Her mom had hurt her and she made sure she knew it. Kai was there for her when she needed a shoulder to cry on or even a sounding board. Always there for her, patient and listening, never interrupting her, allowing her to voice her frustrations. She doesn't think she would have gotten through this trying time without him.

She squeezes his hand, leads him over to the fireplace where her friends have gathered in front of, pressing softly against the length of him as they pose for pictures after he's slid on her corsage, her dad standing next to her mom as the fairer woman snaps away.

She kisses his cheek before leaving, his eyes soft on her and her date. Her dad had come around to Kai and Bonnie dating. She thinks the younger boy won some brownie points for getting into Hudson's ass over the drunk driving thing, making sure she got home safely. Despite that, he still doesn't trust the teen as far as he could throw him. But her dad would feel that way about any boy that came sniffing around. They still had to leave the door open when he was over and those sleepovers they'd grown accustomed to had come to an abrupt end once their relationship was made known. It was actually Kai's idea to tell them. Bonnie thought it was a terrible idea but the younger boy said he didn't want to lie to her parents, didn't want to sneak around, feel like a dirty little secret. He had too much honor this one. She'd given him his way, telling their parents almost right away, allowing the revelation of her moms betrayal to die down first. So yeah, they couldn't have their sleepovers anymore which is unbearable but it only makes her so much hotter for him when she finally does get to see him. Her lips, hands, never not touching him when they're together. So she pounces on him when they get inside their rented ride after a few photos first, she and her friends lollygagging and stunting in front of the stretched Hummer.

Her lips on his before her tush could even hit the leather, thankful she's no longer in the presence of the parentals. Bliss would be for them to be alone, but they have the hotel tonight for that.

"Jesus. You guys do know you're not alone right?" Nora says from beside her date and she hears her friends laugh.

Bonnie ignores them, continuing to kiss her boyfriend without restraint.

Her ears register a snort from the paler girl.

At this, her middle finger flies up and the snarky teen is talking again. "Kai, get your girl. She doesn't know what she's asking for"

Even this doesn't get her to pull away from his lips.

He, however, must offer up the same response because the emo girl is saying, "Am I being propositioned for a threesome? I can't say I'm particularly opposed to the idea, believe it or not."

Bonnie finally pulls away, smirking at the other girl, wagging her pointer finger at the teen. "There will be none of that" she makes it clear, though the amusem*nt in her eyes belies her stern words. "Besides, how disrespectful is that to your date?" She tips her head towards said date, letting her eyes fall on Jeremy.

Her date then pipes in, "We're just friends." he tells her then looks to the raven haired goth, she stayed true to the theme she'd been sticking to all year, all black in all of her witch's garb. "Nora you have my blessing to hook up with whoever you want tonight"

"You hear that, Bennett? He's given me his blessing" she voices, offering Bonnie a salacious wink.

"Nora, stop hitting on my girlfriend" Kai warns but his tone is light. If he'd really felt threatened his words would've been a lot frostier.

"I'm just saying, sharing is caring" Nora pushes her luck.

"There will be no sharing of any sorts going on. Is that clear?" he tilts his head just slightly, eyes turning deadly.

Nora doesn't verbally respond, just offers up a dramatic pout. Bonnie rolls her eyes because she knows it's all in jest.

"Can I just say.." Tiki buts in, eyes falling to the raven haired girl, her voice laced with heavy flirtation. "If you just have that itch you need to scratch tonight, I'm just saying, I'm your girl.."

"What in the world is going on here?" Luka, her God brother and Tiki's date for the night says, his expression and tone more than bewildered, making them all burst into laughter.

The Cheerleader and the Punk: What if...? - BuyTheTicketTakeTheRide (2)

Prom is such a vibe. Unlike Homecoming she's actually having a good time. But after all, she is with the boy of her dreams this time. She sighs, lying her head on his chest, the sound revealing how content she is right now, huddled up so close to her sweetie that they're practically one. The only boy she wants to dance with from here on out.

"Are you having fun?" she's glancing up at him, eyes flickering over his face, gauging his mood.

Hers had soured for a second there, running into Elena in the little girls room. It had gotten awkward really fast. Elena tossing her pitiful looks that Bonnie pretended not to see as they both washed their hands. The brunette was in no better of a situation than Caroline these days. Somehow it had gotten out about the older girl running Chattr. Kai swore it wasn't him who'd spread it around like syphilis but he couldn't guarantee Jo hadn't heard one of their subsequent conversations about the matter. When speaking about his twin, he said, she had ears like a fox and if she had heard then Jenna would be the one she told, hence the whole school finding out. Bonnie, though, is not sure that he tried very hard for Jo not to hear. But he's right, Jenna wouldn't be able to keep her mouth shut about something so salacious. It was like leaving a kid alone with a bowl of candy and warning them to not eat any.

Whatever the case, it had gotten out and Elena was ruined. Her squad members had kicked her off the team the way they'd done Caroline, recalling all the smear pieces she ran on them. She was practically friendless. And though her and Caroline were in the same boat, outcasted, thrown to the wayside, they never made up. She wouldn't be surprised if Elena attempted to bury the hatchet with the blonde. But Caroline, she knew would never forgive. She sees it with the glares she gives Bonnie, not that Bonnie would ever want to be friends with Caroline again, but this girl had a pettiness in her that rivaled only Kai's. She hasn't tried anything though, which thank God but it still confused her. She was always waiting for some vicious prank to happen but it never came. And when she'd seen Hudson here tonight she thought he'd been Caroline's date. Recalling how the ex cheer captain had flirted relentlessly with him at Homecoming. That she invited him to piss off Bonnie. But when she saw him and Alison DiLaurentis, one of Caroline's ex bootlickers, dancing to Nicki Minaj's The night is still young, she knew she'd been wrong. The only person who was offering up pettiness tonight was Hudson.

No, that's not right..

Anna's been flirting with Jeremy all night despite having come with Enzo St. John, which Bonnie knows is probably to get back at Kai for dumping her. The teen is torn because she feels for the other girl, she does but at the same time get over it already. It was months ago and it wasn't like they dated for very long. Kai couldn't care less though about his ex fling being all up in his best friend's grill. She even heard him encourage the other boy to go for it, in which, Jeremy seemed hesitant–bro code and all that but Bonnie can tell he likes the girl a lot. Whatever he decides though, she just hopes her friend doesn't get hurt.

Hudson though, was giving extra petty, being he drove hundreds of miles just to rub it in her face that he's found someone else. Which, good for him. Bonnie couldn't care one bit. Why would she? She has the best boyfriend in the world. Besides, Alison DiLaurentis was the lowest of the low. Caroline Forbes low. Bonnie could never be envious of a girl like that. So if he thought she would feel a way, he's wrong. But it's clear that he still feels a way. She's caught him staring at her more than a few times earlier in the evening. Like blatant staring. Not much lately though. Well, maybe, not at all. He'd almost been pointedly not looking at her, like he was purposely avoiding her gaze. She wonders if Kai had something to do with his sudden non stares. Probably. Kai wouldn't be Kai if he hadn't threatened the boy's life again for old time's sake.

So she watches him, expectant, waiting for his answer.

Her boyfriend smiles down at her, his blue eyes glinting, soft on her face, "I always have fun with you"

A smile takes root, the same could be said from her. She didn't know what to expect going from being best friends for so long to being in a committed relationship with said best friend. She thought being with him in this way, where they were now able to express their love for one another, would bring on a seriousness to their dynamic that had never existed before. She was wrong, they were still their same old selves, being able to love on one another hadn't changed their dynamic at all, everything was still playful, fun.

She's about to open her mouth to speak when Principal Saltzman is clearing his throat into the microphone. And she knows what is to come. The announcing of the Prom Queen and King.

She isn't surprised to hear her name as the winner of Prom Queen, it's the announcement of Prom King that gets her mouth to falling.

"Be honest, did you do this?" She gears at her boyfriend as they do their obligatory Prom King and Queen dance. Though, she wouldn't say she was being forced to do anything she didn't want to do. Her dance with Matt at Homecoming, she was anxious for it to be over with, with Kai he could hold her like this forever, swaying to the soft notes of pop songs and she still wouldn't feel like it was long enough.

"Did I do what?" he asks, putting on a show of false innocence.

In return, she gives him a flat look. A 'cut the bull, you know what I'm talking about' look.

"You know what I'm asking. Did you rig the votes so you would win?"

His mouth plops open. He makes a show of it. "I'm kind of insulted that you think I would go to such extremes." She rolls her eyes because he's so full of sh*t. "Are you not my girlfriend? Are you not the most worshiped girl in school? I don't know," his shoulders move up in a casual gesture as his fingers clasps tighter around her waist, their bodies swaying to the slow song that's playing as all eyes are peeled on them. "Maybe some of that popularity of yours rubbed off. Is that so hard to believe?" His eyes are glinting with unmasked humor, cheeks twitching.

"No," comes the gentle head shake, her fingers burying into the silky strands of his hair, which she's surprised considering Kai dyes his hair as much as he changes outfits. It should feel like straw, the way hers does after she's been swimming. But of course it doesn't. It feels and looks heavenly. When he told her he dyed it again, blonde this time, she cringed. Expecting it to be one of those brassy shades that was more closer to yellow than blonde. So when she'd seen him, the gorgeous golden hue he sported, she couldn't help but smile. He looked good, better than ever if she was honest. She'd seen him with such wild–out there hair for so long, him having a normal hair color almost made him present like a totally different person. She can't tell him she prefers this look on him though because then he might change it. Inwardly, she snorts at the thought. So petty this boy was. "But we know that's not what happened.."

He remains mum, humming along to the song. She's surprised he even knows it, considering all he listens to is rock.

"Admit it" she presses, knowing she won't feel satisfied until he confesses his sin.

"What's that now?" he queries, his expression light, not giving anything away.

She laughs, can't help it. He's really going along with this innocent act.

"I said admit you rigged the results because you knew you wouldn't be able to stand seeing Damon dance with me right now"

His eyes grow hard at the mention of the quarterback, disturbing the harmonies of his features. "Would you be able to stand Damon dancing with you right now?" he flips the question around on her. Deflecting again.

"No" she says easily and his black mood sheds like the skin of a snake, revealing gleaming humor-filled eyes. He chuckles then says, resuming that low tone he was speaking in so only her ears could hear. "The way I see it, everything worked out just fine then"

She shakes her head because this boy was incorrigible. "With no doubt help from you"

He closes his eyes briefly, a serene look on his face. "This is a really nice song." he states, his long lashes fluttering open again. "I thought they'd play some cheesy sh*t like Taylor Swift. This is nice though" he comments and she laughs. She has to give it to him, his dedication at deflecting is admirable.

"I hate you"

He shakes his head. It's a barely there effort though. "No, you love me." he reminds her, his tender eyes tracing the soft lines of her face, the act adoring. And then his hold tightens on her, becomes possessive. "Now give me a kiss" he demands from her, tone going all growly, primal, eyes flashing with heat.

Hers stretch as she peers at him. "Right here?" Right now?

Because she kisses Kai all the time but never this public. Never with so many eyes on them. Their entire class was looking at them right now.

"Right here" he dares her, peering at her with a feverish intensity, his mouth twisting into a feral smile.

She accepts the challenge, of course she does, giving her all to the kiss. And before she knows it, there's hooting and hollering from their fellow classmates.

They throw an afterparty in the suite he booked for them at the Four Seasons. Well, technically, she was the one who booked it being she was the only legal one of the two. Kai doesn't turn eighteen until July. But he covered for the entire thing, putting his streaming money to good use. Because they needed this night. They haven't spent a single night alone since the day she confronted Abby and he brought her home with him, the night he kissed her and started this whole relationship thingy. They would have all the time in the world to explore each other on their trip to Bali in a few weeks. But she can't wait that long. So she doesn't allow the party to go beyond a few hours. She wanted him now, so standing on top of the bed, her bare feet sinking into the plus comforter, she tells her ex squad members, her closest friends that they aint gotta go home but they gotta get the hell out of here.

"Get. To. Steppin'"

The End.

The Cheerleader and the Punk: What if...? - BuyTheTicketTakeTheRide (2024)
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