Fuck's sake. I mean really? We come here to meet Cay's ‘rents, and so far, Cayden has forgotten I exist, and the only one who's really offering to give any kind of comfort at all, has an uncontrollable teenage temper that's worse than his brother's and a friend that he seems to hate. A friend that also lies.
Not that Alex would give a shit. I was Alex's sex toy nearly a whole year before we started going out... which would have made me about fifteen.
I heave a sigh, listening as Hadley slams out of the house and storms off down the road. Figuring that following Hadley right now wouldn't be the best idea, I venture back into his room where Caleb is still on the bed, looking kinda sulky and upset.
Smoothing out the bed covers, I sit down cross-legged beside him.
"Go away," he says half heartedly. So do I go away? No, no I do not. I hug the guy instead.
"Do you think he meant it?" he sniffles.
"Umm... Which bit?" I ask softly. There was quite a lot to have meant there.
"Any of it. All of it." Well, I would go with yes, but... I'm not that blunt.
"I don't know him well enough to judge on all of it, but there's no point making yourself different just for him. Tone down the jokes, sure, but friends are supposed to be accepting, right?" he just sniffles again, biting his lip.
"He hates me." I squeeze him comfortingly.
"Don't be stupid, he's just worked himself up over nothing." Though it probably didn't help much when you called him a little fucking pansy virgin.
"No, he... he hates me. He's only ever... gotten that mad when Cayden l-left." He sounds like he's trying not to cry, bless him. Although what he just said about him only getting that angry when Cay left surprises me.
"Maybe there's something else on his mind. I don't see why a few persistent jokes would piss him off so much."
"Do you... Do you think he got mad ‘cause I said he was a virgin?" He sniffs and I wonder if I'm going to end up with a wet patch on my shoulder.
"I don't know... is it something that usually provokes him?"
"I know... I know he used to get a lot of crap about it in high school," he mumbles and I sigh slightly.
"Well maybe it was that, then, but you know him better than I do."
"He's gonna hate me forever."
"No he won't." I don't think even Hadley could manage that.
"He fucking will. Just like my mom's gonna hate me for sleeping with a guy eight years older than me."
"He won't," I promise, kissing his cheek, "and Alex will help you sort it out. He'll put on the charm and your mum will love him to bits and you'll never have trouble sneaking off with him again. It worked on my mum, it'll work on anyone's." And if Alex doesn't help him, I'll make the guy wish he'd never been born.
"You really think so?" I nod, praying I'm right and haven't just raised the kid's hopes. He smiles a little at that and I smile back warmly.
"Want me to call him? You guys can meet up and then I can go and see if Hadley's calmed down." He nods, so I let go of him, dialling Alex's number as Caleb wipes his eyes. Poor kid.
"Hey, Lex," I mutter, "be at the Starbucks in twenty minutes." I don't give him a chance to protest or ask why. I look back at Caleb.
"You can drive, right?"
"Kind of." Kind of? I roll my eyes.
"Don't crash my car," I warn him, pulling the keys out of my pocket and shoving them in his hand, before getting up, "I need to go find Hads."
"If he's not on the roof he'll no doubt be at the tree house. And thanks," he smiles and I smile back, trying to remember how to get to the tree house.
"Shoo. Starbucks is waiting for you." He just nods and leaves. Shit, I should have asked where that tree house is.