I can't say the prospect of spending the evening with Cay's ex filled me with joy. It would be like Cay having to spend the evening with Alex and me. At this rate, I'd end up asking Hadley what it was he'd taken before dinner. I might need it.
I finish looking through the photos, hoping my smile is enthusiastic and happy and that Cay doesn't notice how strained it probably looks.
"These photos aren't so bad," I say, sitting back, "I dunno what you were complaining about."
"I look like a gangly skunk-boy." I roll my eyes.
"You're not the same colour as a beetroot, or on your own in most of your photos. It's better than mine," I say with a half smile.
"You looked cute in yours though," he protests and I roll my eyes.
"And you look cute in yours," I plant a kiss on his lips, before standing up, "I need to find a drug store. Where's the nearest one?" He lets out a chuckle.
"You junkie. There's one like five minutes away, we drove past it on the way here."
"I'm no junkie. Unless you count nicotine patches." I used the last one this morning. I have a feeling I'm gonna need a fresh one for the rest of the evening.
"Hardcore. You're gonna have the cops on your tail soon," he smiles and I laugh slightly.
"You'll hide me from them, right?"
"Sure I will," he says, kissing me. I kiss back, making my smile widen a little as I pull away.
"Good. I'll be back in a bit, then," I mutter, patting my pocket to make sure I have my wallet before wandering off.
"Don't run off with any local hotties," he winks and I laugh.
"I won't," I promise, "so long as you don't run off with John the moment my back's turned," I finish in my head. He smiles and do my best smile back, before leaving.
When I'm out of the house, I breathe a small sigh of relief. And then feel bad.
It's not Cayden's fault that John makes me irrationally insecure. Breathe, Max. He's not gonna run off with the guy that broke his heart. Same as you wouldn't go back with Alex.
I chew on my lower lip the whole way to the drug store, my mind determined to fill itself with as much doubt as it possibly can.
By the time I'm stood in front of the nicotine patches, I can taste blood. Surprised by the coppery taste seeping into my mouth, I touch a finger to my lip where I'd been chewing and scowl at the smear of blood on it. Wiping it away, I will myself to stop chewing on my lip and pick up the patches, grabbing some chewing gum on the way to the check out.
Breathe, Max. Breathe.