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I found the guys waiting outside. Brett was leaning against a tree and Marc-Andre was kicking rocks.

"I wish I knew how to reach her" he was saying "I promised Matt I'd look after her" he kicked another rock with such force it went so far, I didn't see it land. Though I was pretty sure I heard someone say ow.

"Nice kick." Brett commented.

"Isn't this where you usually give an inspiring speech to make everythign ok?" Marc-Andre said.

"Yeah." He said, "But these days, I feel like everything I do blows up. It's just like Ashley said. So I am quitting the business."

I glanced down at the ground, I felt kind of guilty, like I was the reason he felt like that.

"Hey guys" I said forcing a smile and walking up to them.

"How's Ashley?" Marc-Andre immediately asked.

"She's still the same. I'm thinking we should leave her alone for a little while." I said.

"OK! Who was the wise guy to hit me with this rock?" Ryan said through his teeth since his jaw was still broken. "You again!" He yelled at Brett.

"Hey Ryan. What happened to your jaw?" Marc-Andre said, oblivious to what had happened earlier.

Brett just stood leaning against the tree, not moving a muscle. He looked at Ryan but didn't say a word and didn't have an expression on his face. It was scaring Ryan and, to be honest, it kind of scared me.

"Brett?" I asked in a shaky voice.

Brett briefly turned his head towards me, then back towards Ryan.

"I'm going to get you." Ryan said. "This isn't over!" He said, starting to run away.

Brett just looked at him calmly while he ran, his face still without expression. I was getting worried now.

"Brett?" I said. "Ryan just threatened you."

"Yeah." He said plainly.

"Aren't you afraid of what he's going to do?" I asked him concerned.

"That wimp?" he said scornfully "'I'm going to get you' is the most original threat in the book! I'm not the slightest bit worried"

I couldn't help it, I rolled my eyes.

He gave me a look and then he returned his attention to Marc-Andre. "So where were we?"

Marc-Andre just shrugged and kicked another rock.

"Well, aren't we a happy group" I muttered under my breath.


"Well," I said to her. "What would you like to do?"

She considered for a moment. "There really isn't much to do" she said a moment later. "How about we rent a movie to watch?"

"That sounds like a good idea." I said.

"I'm going to stay here." Marc-Andre said.

"You sure?" Mary-Kate asked him.

"Yeah." Marc-Andre said. "You two have fun."

Mary-Kate took my hand and we started to walk towards the video store. The winds were picking up a bit and I gave Mary-Kate my jacket. "Are you ever going to buy one?" I asked her casually.

She smiled "Nah! In a world where chivaulry is near dead, I couldn't risk avoiding moments like this" she winked.

I just laughed.

We got to the video store, and prepared for war. There was no way we'd be able to agree on a movie!

Spending time with Mary-Kate almost felt like I was smiling and had something to care about. When Ryan threatened me, I didn't care about much. I guess Ashley's comment hurt me more than I thought. I'm glad Mary-Kate was around.

"How about Sweet November?" I heard her ask.

I made an 'eww gross' face at her then I went looking in the action section. "How about Armageddon?"

She made the same face I had.

"What?! It's got romance AND explosions!" I explained.

"Yes, BUT it stars Bruce Willis!" She repeated the face.

"AND Ben Affleck" I returned "Didn't 'somebody' have a crush on him recently"

"Ha! That was so last year!" she said blushing. Moving down the aisle a bit she picked up another video "Josie and the pussycats?"

I tried really hard not to start laughing out loud.

"You're not going to laugh are you?" She asked.

I just shook my head with a grin on my face. I managed to prevent a laugh attack and I looked around. I saw a movie that I was hoping would score some points in the sensitivity department. "How about the Green Mile?"

"Too depressing" she answered and continued walking down the row. She picked up a video I couldn't quite see and turned to me with a mischevious look "Moulin Rouge?" she asked holding it up.

"I heard it's weird." I said, "I heard a song in it and they mix up like 6 songs into a medley and they butcher the songs." I felt daring today, so I spoke up and said "Mary-Kate, anything you chose, I'll watch. Today and tomorrow are Mary-Kate days."

She smiled at me "Thank-you" She then scanned the display one more time "I choose... Bounce!"

I looked at the movie with an odd look. I thought to myself 'Bounce? Directors must be running out of ideas...'

"If that's what you want, it's what you're going to get." I said to her, resuming my smile.

We went to the cash register to rent the movie. We were then on our way back to the girls apartment to watch the movie.

If Ashley was still sulking I just planned on kicking her out. We opened the door to find Ashley crying and Marc-Andre trying to comfort her. I glanced at Mary-Kate and we smiled, Ashley was finally starting to mourne. Anyone else would have thought us insane smiling at something like that.

"Should we leave them alone?" I whispered to Mary-Kate

"Well, it's not like we can kick them out." She said to me. "What do we do now?"

I smiled at her. "We never finished our picnic. If I remember correctly, we had just finished the eating part and were going to sit and talk."

"Oh yeah." She said.

"Shall I get the blanket?" I asked.

"Sure" she said "Bounce probably wouldn't be the best movie for Ashley, anyway" She said putting it down on the table.

I went and got the blanket we used for the original picnic and we walked back to the tree. I put the blanket down and I took her hand as she sat down, just like before. I then sat down and I looked at her.

She looked back

"Umm... Mary-Kate," I said.

"Yes?" She replied.

"There's something I've been meaning to tell you, for a long time now." I said.

"What?" She asked

"Well,.." I glanced down at the blanket and ran my fingers along the pattern.



"You were going to tell me something"

"Oh! Sorry!... Well,..." My focus returned to the blanket.

"Brett" she said putting a finger under my chin and lifting my face "Are you going to tell me your big secret or will I have to tell you mine first?"


My mind wondered what her secret was. I decided to wait and see what it was before I told her mine.

My voice was failing me, but I managed to say, "What's yours?"

"Um,..." she said suddenly chickening out a little "Oh, it's not important. What's yours?"

"Nuh-uh! I wanna know"

She looked away and mumbled something.


"Ilikeyou" she mumbled

"Could you repeat that in English?"

"I... like.... you"

Chapter 32

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