I hesitated for a second and Caleb pinned me to the floor. "Spill"
"Does he know?" Alex asked.
I hesitated again before nodding.
"You gonna do anything about it?" he asked thoughtfully.
"I don't know"
"Don't let him turn you into his rebound" Alex said, suddenly serious.
Something told me my face must’ve looked a little worried. If it didn’t then I’m a fucking good actor.
Alex gave me a sympathetic smile. "He's been fucked around with more than enough the last couple of years. He's gonna rebound on the first person that offers himself up. Don't let that be you."
"Shit. I'm not being mean or anything but Hadley, just stop and think about this. You've never been in love and to my knowledge you've never found anyone remotely interesting. Do you seriously want to risk this?" Caleb said. Since when was he such a fucking expert?
I bit my lip. "I don't know"
"As far as I know, the last time, he found some guy at a club, went out with him for a couple of weeks, couldn't hack it and dumped the guy. That was when he started moping around for two years and fucking anyone who was drunk enough to pick him up." Alex said, frowning slightly. "If you want him, I can help you."
"We'd have to persuade someone to be his rebound, and then when it goes to shit, you turn up and be the guy he's looking for."
I bit my lip again. The last plan we’d come up with hadn’t exactly worked out the way we planned, what’s to say this one would?
I saw Caleb glance between me and Alex a couple of times before finally saying "I'll do it"
"Sure?" Alex asked.
"If it stops him fucking up Hadley" Caleb said, smiling at me.
Alex turned back to me "But you gotta be serious about it, Hadley. I shit you not, if you hurt him, I will make you wish you were never born."
"Hurt Hadley and I'll fucking kill you" Caleb growled and Alex smiled.
"I care more about keeping Maxxie sane than I do about my hospital bills."
"I'm serious. I will stab you in the face while you're asleep"
"I'm serious too." He turned to me again. "Are you serious about Max?"
"Ugh, I don't know! Why do people keep asking me things when I don't know?" I said, burying my head in my hands.
Alex ruffled my hair. "Chill. We don't have to do it straight away. Just wanna make sure before Max decides he wants you."
I smiled though I didn’t particularly feel any better and Caleb wrapped me in another hug. "I told you you were in to guys"
Alex smiled at that and I had to fight not to laugh. "Shut up, Gayleb"
"Right, well now that's sorted, am I allowed to go and beat Cayden up?"
"If Maxxie's okay with it"
Caleb tried not to laugh. Alright, Hadley, expect something evil to come out of his mouth. "And if he's not fucking John"
"That's okay, I can beat John up while I'm there."
"I think Mari might've beaten you to it" I said, remembering the look in her eye.
Caleb kind of laughed. "His wife"
"Then I'm sure she'll appreciate the quiet time she'll get when he's in hospital," Alex said with a half smile.
"Yeah..." If she was still around, that is.
Alex laughed. "I'm joking. I won't hospitalize anyone today." He stood up, earning a slight frown from Caleb, "I'm gonna go check on Max."
"He said he was gonna take a shower" I said, not really knowing why.
"He'll be done by now, won't he?"
"I'll be back later. Keep yourselves out of trouble," Alex said with a wink and left, leaving Caleb and me on our own and frankly feeling quite miserable.
“You know Maxxie said he was gonna get his stuff and leave today, right?” Caleb asked seemingly without thinking.
“What?” I asked, feeling myself start to panic.
“Wha? Oh, don’t worry, just ignore me” Caleb said but I wasn’t exactly convinced. “You wanna call your folks? They’re gonna be worried”
“No. Then they’ll just want me to go back”
“Where are you gonna go then?”
“I don’t know. I guess I’ll stay with Maxxie if he’ll have me”
“Are you sure? I mean, you don’t even know if you like the guy and if he is into you, staying with him’s just gonna lead him on”
“Well where else am I s’posed to go?”
“I said you could stay with me. And then when Cayden goes back to his place you can go back home, right?”
“I’m not going back, Caleb. I can’t deal with it anymore”
“Deal with what?”
“The fact that my family are fucking dysfunctional! Whenever something bad happens it’s always me that has to pick everyone up and clean up the mess and I’ve had enough of it” I said, fighting back tears.
I was fucking tired. When Cayden left it was my shoulder that was there for Mom to cry on, me who got Dad into the vintage car thing so he had something else to focus on. Which left me on my own. Every time something shit happened to this family I had to deal with it on my own while everyone else depended on me for support.
Caleb wrapped me in another hug as I felt a tear drip down over my cheek. C’mon, Hadley, pull yourself together. You don’t cry. You’ve never cried. Okay, you cried when you were a baby and you cried when your pet caterpillar died but other than that you do not cry. Oh fuck it, maybe this once.