Chapter ThreeMature


I didn't mean to make her cry again. Muttering to myself, I played with the keys in my pocket as we parted ways, mentally abusing myself over the fact that her eyes were already brimming with tears. Ever since the first awkward question, where I had asked her who her first boyfriend was, I'd seen that same pained look in her eyes. Did thinking about our past really hurt that much? Had I really done so much wrong that any kind of memories of us were painful?

I cursed and kicked the rear tire of my truck, slamming the palm of my hand onto the tailgate. Standing there for a second, I took a deep breath to calm myself, and then walked around to the driver's side to get in. A note under the wind shield wipers caught my eye, and I retrieved it, frowning. I hadn't gotten a ticket or anything, had I?

It wasn't a ticket, that much was obvious. I saw that as soon as I grabbed it, because it was done on blue notebook paper, in black ink. The writing was smudged in places, from the water that was on my wind shield. 

I know you love her and everything, but could you tone it down a bit? At least in public, where I can see? Please... ):



I sighed, crumpling up the paper. That would be Malorie Tyler, a girl who was absolutely obsessed with me after one night together...

I shook my head, exasperated that she had gone to so much trouble to find my truck, just so she could leave a note like that. I turned the truck on and drove home, once again wondering how in the hell I'd gotten into such a messy situation with Bella. 

"Mason," a girl's voice said, and I turned around, closing my locker as I did so. Malorie stood there, looking like she was nervous to talk to me. Her short blond hair was smoothed down to perfection, and her dark blue eyes darted around me, trying not to focus on me. She was definitely nervous. 

"Hey," I said, just standing there. I didn't know what to do. Why would she even come say hi? I had thought that I had made it pretty clear last time that we'd really spoken that I didn't love her, and that I was only in love with Bella. She didn't know about the dare, though.

"I... I was just wondering how you were doing," she said softly, twisting her hands in front of her. I glanced around, noting that there was nobody left in the halls. 

"Late for class, right now," I answered dryly, and looked pointedly at her. 

"Oh, uh.. okay."

She turned to leave, and I suddenly felt bad. 

"How are you?" I asked, and she stopped, turning to look at me. She looked like she might fall down. 

"I guess I'm okay," she said, and smiled. 

"That's good," I told her, and shifted my weight to my other foot. 

"Yeah, I guess so," she said, laughing. 

"So, did you need something?"

She shook her head. "Not really.. I was just wondering how you were, and I wanted to give you something..."

I gave her a questioning look. "And that would be...?" She wasn't holding anything. But when she stepped forward, tilting her head up, I knew exactly what that would be. 

A million thoughts raced through my head. I couldn't do this. That would be breaking my promise to Bella. But I couldn't exactly refuse Malorie, she was already so nervous around me. I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Deciding that Bella wouldn't find out anyway, I let Malorie do it.

Her lips were soft, so much different from Bella's demanding kisses. Her hands rested lightly on my chest, and I found my free hand reaching up to cup her face gently. Her eyes were closed, her eye lashes dark and spidery against her pale cheeks. 

She moved backwards, breaking the kiss. I smiled a crooked smile at her. "What was that for?"

"Just because I wanted to," she whispered, and blushed. "Did you not want me to?"

"No, no it's fine," I stammered, again because I didn't want to hurt her feelings, and not because it was the whole truth. 

She smiled a shy smile. "Good. I have to get to class."

"See ya, Mal."

"Bye, Mason."

I shook my head, and walked to class. Behind me, I heard Malorie talking to someone. 


I yawned and shook my head at the soda my brother offered me. He cracked open one for himself and sat down beside me, taking the remote from me and flipping through channels. 

"I was watching that, Nathaniel," I muttered, but got no reply. Closing my eyes and leaning against the arm of the couch, I listened to him mumble under his breath about the lack of good television these days. 

"You sound like you're forty," I remarked, opening my eyes to look at him. 

He scoffed. "I'm not the one who looks it." 

I let the comment roll off of me. He was just in a bad mood today. 

"How's Rachel?" I asked, yawning again. 

He shrugged by way of response.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, though I was pretty sure I already knew. 

"Broke up."

"Oh, I'm sorry," I offered, even though I really wasn't. My brother went through girls really fast. 

"Whatever," Nathaniel said, and settled on some World War Two documentary. Since I had no interest in furthering my education on history, or putting up with my brother's foul mood, I went to my room and finished the little bit of homework that I had gotten from Mr. Burns. 

While I worked, I got a text from Mason, asking if I wanted to hang out. Because I was doing homework, I said no, and told him what I was doing. Somehow though, he convinced me to let him come over; we would just hang out here, so I could finish my homework with no problem. 

As soon as he said that he was coming over, I looked down at what I was wearing. He'd seen me a mess before; we had known each other basically our whole lives. But for some reason, I wanted to look nice. So when I saw that I was wearing my favorite torn sweat pants and a stained Mickey Mouse t-shirt, I jumped up, sending papers and books flying everywhere. I raced to my closet, flipping through shirts and jeans as fast as I could. 

Just as quickly, I chose a pair of blue jean shorts folded at the hem, and a black tank top. I pulled those on and ran to the bathroom to inspect my hair and make up. My hair was a mess, but then again, it was always a mess. I made do with a quick ponytail, and then eyed my make up. I was only wearing lip gloss. I didn't usually wear anything except for a coat of concealer and powder, and mascara. 

I went ahead and slathered on the concealer, put on powder, and brushed my eyelashes out to the max with a mascara wand. After slicking on another coat of lip gloss, I deemed myself presentable, and spritzed a bit of vanilla perfume on to complete myself. 

Just in time too, because a minute later I heard Mason knock on the front door. He never knocked, and I knew my brother would find that weird, so I went ahead and got the door. With my brother's mood, he'd be likely to snap at Mason for knocking. 

"Hey," I said brightly, smiling at him. His blond hair was messy, like usual, and he'd definitely not thought about his choice of wardrobe. He was wearing a light blue zip up jacket with a white shirt underneath, and worn jeans frayed at the hems where they dragged on the ground. His beat up tenis shoes were scuffed and matched the rest of his outfit. 

"Hey," he said, stepping inside and closing the door. "What's up?"

"Just homework," I said, and gesturned towards the living room. "My brother's being grumpy, so we're gonna be in my room."

"Okay," Mason replied, and followed me into my room. I knelt and picked up the papers I had thrown everywhere earlier, and put them on my bed. My room wasn't messy, but I suddenly (and I still didn't know why I was feeling like this) felt embarrassed that I hadn't picked up my clothes from my quick change. I scooped them up and tossed them in the dirty hamper, feeling Mason's gaze on me. 

"So... what have you been doing?" I asked, sitting down on my bed. Mason shoved his hands in his pockets, standing in the middle of my room like he didn't know what to do. 

"Not much, really, I had nothing to do. So I called you." 

"Happy to know I'm a last resort," I said, smiling, and picked my pen back up. I was on the last paragraph of the report I was writing for Mr. Burns. 

"Not a last resort, really. Just... a boredom kicker," he said, going to my dresser and picking up a bottle of perfume that was sitting there. It was a brand I didn't usually use, in a scent I wouldn't really buy. It had been given to me on my birthday by (ironically enough) the girl that I had caught Mason making out with in my garage. 

"I didn't know you liked lavender," he commented, and set the bottle back down. 

"I don't," I said. "Besides, you don't know a lot about me."


"Yeah," I said. 

"Like what?"

"Well... there's just a lot," I said lamely, knowing perfectly well that he knew every single thing there was to know about me. He knew my hopes and dreams and wants and nightmares and goals. He knew my past, my planned future, and most of my present. It was hard to play a game like this with someone who knew everything about you, and you knew everything about them. 

"Enlighten me," Mason insisted, and sat down in my desk chair. 

"I.. I don't know."

There was something in his voice, the way he looked at me, that made me think he came over here for a lot more than to just relieve bordom. The look he gave me was the look he used to give me that told me I'd probably want to wear a pretty bra and make sure my legs were shaved. 

I shivered, looking away. We're supposed to be strangers, I remind myself, and strangers don't do that kind of thing. Especially when they're only talking for like the third or fourth time. 

"Okay then," he laughed, and 'that look' disappeared from his face. He was toying with me. 

I got up, going to put my binder and pen on the desk in front of him. To do so, I had to lean over him. I held my breath and placed my binder on the desk, ignoring the close proximity and the heat from his body. I was the one that had 'that look' then, and tried my best to hide it. I knew that he could spot what kind of mood I was in with no problem. We know each other way too well. 

"What's wrong?" he said. 

He knows, I thought, and bite my lip. "Nothing," I answered quickly, and move away from him. "So how was your day at school?"

He shrugged. "School is school. Boring."

"Did you not have any homework from Mr. Burns class?" I asked, though I knew he did. 

"I'm... prioritizing." 

"How so?"

"Doing important things first, of course."

"Isn't homework important?"

"Maybe to nerds like you," he teased, and I stick my tongue out at him. 

"Just because I do my homework and actually give a shit about whether I pass or fail does not make me a nerd," I retorted, and smoothed down a stray curl that had escaped my ponytail. 

"Sure," Mason said, and grinned. 

I yawned and stretched. 

"Tired?" Mason asked. 

I nodded, gesturing towards the TV. "Do you want to watch a movie or something?"

"Sure. What do you want to watch."

"I don't know, what are you in the mood for?"


"I don't care."

"Do you have... Grown Ups?" he said, knowing that I did. 

I smiled. "Yeah, I do. I'll put it in. Can you grab an extra blanket from my closet? It's cold in here."

I put in the movie and then settled on my bed with the remote, letting Mason sit beside me on the bed. The movie started, and I made it to the funeral scene before passing out. 

When I woke, Mason was curled up to my side, also asleep, and the main menu music was playing. I nudged Mason's arm, smiling at how he looked in sleep. 

"Huh?" he mumbled, and cuddled closer to me. I kind of wanted to just lie back down and cuddle for a while before we started acting like strangers again. 

"Wake up, Mase. Time to go home. Wakey, wakey."

"Shit." He sat up quickly, seeming to realize where he was. "Sorry, didn't mean to fall asleep and get all up close and personal," he apologized.

 I laughed. "No big deal. I'm gonna head back to bed though... So if you don't mind..."

"Yeah, I better get back to my house anyway," he said, offering a small smile. 

"I'll see you later?" I whispered. 

"Yeah. See ya, Bells."

"Bye, Mase."

I smiled as I fell back to sleep. 


Monday morning was always the worst morning of the week. I chugged a cup of coffee before heading out the door, wishing that I'd had time for ten more. My hair was pulled back in a half assed ponytail, my make up was the bare essentials, and my clothes were whatever I had picked out of my closet the quickest. I wasn't even sure they matched. 

Except, when I got into first block, I woke up immediately. Because, God help him, Mason was sitting with his back to the bleachers and his arm around Malorie Tyler, a girl that I sometimes talked to, but didn't really claim as a friend. 

She was giggling and whispering something to him, and he wasn't paying anyone any attention except for her. The rest of my group left the two alone. Sam was shooting him a dirty look right now, as I walked up to the group. I dropped my bag on the floor and settled to the ground as loudly as I could, in hopes of attracting Mason's attention. 

No such luck. He was flirting, heavily so. And I was a little pissed. He looked a little too comfy to be casually talking, and didn't our agreement sort of ban this kind of behavoir? 

"Hey," Sam said, giving me a pitying look. "What's up?"

"Kind of wishing whores didn't exist," I muttered, and slouched against the bleachers. 


"Fuck it," I said, and plugged my ear phones in. A moment later, I leaned on Sam's shoulder. I hated Monday mornings. 

It got worse in third block, where Mason was passing notes with Malorie and flirting with her right beside me. I grumbled to myself the entire time, wishing he wasn't either A.) so oblivious or B.) so evil. If he was going to break his promises, I'd rather he didn't do it right in front of me. But then again, I always got pissed when he did shit behind my back. 

Erik didn't approach me again, and my stormy looks repelled any one else the whole day. The most I probably said to anyone was when I told Rick off for blocking my locker while making out with his girlfriend. 

I planned to confront him after school. So, after the very last bell rang, I went and leaned against his truck and waited for him. And the dumb bastard walked up with his arm around Malorie.

"Hi, Mason," I said, pushing myself off of his truck. Mason sighed, like he'd been waiting for this all day. "Uhm, I thought we had this little promise thing going on?"

Malorie looked up at Mason questioningly, and Mason just shook his head. "Not here, Bella," he said. 

"We had an agreement."

"We're not talking about this right now."

"I think we are."

"I say we aren't."

"What, are you afraid your girlfriend might get offended and dump you? I thought you wanted to fix things, not go whore around with other girls."

"We aren't--" Malorie started.

"Shut up, I wasn't talking to you," I snapped, and Malorie looked at me like she might kill me.

"We'll talk about this later, Bella."

"I don't think so."

"Geez, you're awfully PMS," he remarked, and Malorie smirked. 

I gave him a disgusted look, turning to leave. "I hope you catch an STD from that filthy whore," I called over my shoulder, and walked to my car, tears brimming in my eyes. 

Maybe I was overreacting a little bit, but damnit, wasn't I entitled to a little bit of hostility? This bastard had really fucked things up.. A lot. 

I drove home in tears. 

The End

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