Chapter Twenty.

Nick’s face fell as he saw the reason for the screeching tires and the slamming of a car door.

“Amanda,” he said somberly.

“Move it or lose it, Carter,” she fumed, pushing past him. “This doesn’t concern you.”

Nick sighed, watching nervously as she disappeared into his house. It was times like these he wished it really didn’t concern him.

His cell phone rang as he watched Amanda’s retreating form, and he was quick to answer it, knowing exactly who was on the other end.

“She’s in the house,” he said right away. ”What the hell did you do this time?”

“Fuck,” AJ sighed. “Nicky.. be careful. She’s MAD.”

“I saw that,” Nick said bitterly. “What the hell happened?”

“She knows,” AJ sighed again. “She knows I know.. and who told me.”

“Shit,” Nick breathed. “San.”

“I’ll be there in two minutes,” was the last nick heard of AJ before shutting the phone off, tossing it aside and taking off after Amanda. He was at the entrance of their living room just as the commotion began.

“WHY, Sandra?!” Amanda exclaimed, her eyes shooting daggers at Sandra.

Sandra eyed her friend cautiously, her apparent anger startling her. More so when she found that it was being directed at her, and no one else.

“Why what?” she asked Amanda, her tone matching her friend’s exactly.

“I TRUSTED YOU! Shit, San, what did I do to you to deserve this?!”

Sandra bit her lip and cast a glance at Nick, who was still in the entrance. He had concern written all over his face, and there was no way she could reassure him that she would be okay.

She couldn’t even tell that to herself.

“When did you turn into such a blabbermouth, anyway?!” Amanda continued, pacing the floor in front of Sandra.

“I’m not a blabbermouth.”

“Bull shit,” Amanda seethed, shooting a nasty glare in Sandra’s direction. “Bull fucking SHIT! What is with you?! It’s like, I don’t know you anymore! What happened, San?! Just because you have more people to talk to nowadays doesn’t mean you can tell them EVERYTHING. That’s it, isn’t it?” Amanda asked her friend. “That’s what’s going on. You’ve got friends other than just me now, so of COURSE you’re gonna be the big mouth you’ve always wanted to be! Right.. San isn’t the ‘loner’ here; she’s actually doing well in Florida. She’s not the outcast anymore, and she’s got more people to pity her now that she ever could back home! THAT has to be it, San! Isn’t it? Tell me, are you doing this to keep your new friends around?!”

“That’s enough, Amanda!”

Amanda whirled on her heels and came face to face with AJ.

“You stay out of this,” she spat. “This has NOTHING to do with you!”

“It has EVERYTHING to do with me,” he corrected her. “And you know it.”

“Why? ‘Cause your little friend over here’s losing the battle? She’s a big girl, AJ.”

“I will not stand for this,” he said calmly, his voice even. “Get out of here. Let’s go back.”

“I’m not going ANYWHERE with you,” she said, stepping away from him. “After what you said?! HELL no!” she turned back to Sandra then, whose tear-stained face did nothing to calm her down. “Is this what you want to associate yourself with?! This,” her hand shot out, signaling AJ out, “Is what you call your friend? Well.. what about your BEST friend, San? What about the one that saw you at your worst and STILL accepted you as the good person no one else took the time to see you as? WHAT ABOUT OUR FUCKING FRIENDSHIP?!”

From his place behind Amanda, Nick watched as she broke Sandra down. Tears stung her eyes, yet she still stood rigid in her place, not cowering in the least.

“You done yet?” Sandra asked calmly, her voice wavering unsteadily.

“Not fazed in the least,” Amanda smirked. “I should’ve known. You know, maybe you ARE the trash everyone said you were. I sure did waste my time on you, didn’t I?”

Sandra’s eyes grew wide with shock, just as AJ grabbed Amanda and hauled her out of the house. Nick was at her side in record time, and she was enveloped by his arms, his scent, all that she loved about him, and she couldn’t appreciate him right then. She was too busy exploding, bursting into tears as her world came crashing down on her.

But it wasn’t over; not by a long shot. If Amanda wanted a fight, a fight was what she was going to get.

A damn good one at that.

[chapter list | chapter twenty one]