Through Thick And Through Thin

Chapter Eight

When Katie's eyes fluttered open, she felt an unusual amount of weight pressing down on her body. She looked up and smiled, seeing A.J. sleeping on top of her with his head resting just above her chest. She nudged him gently, and he mumbled softly as he woke up. "Morning," she said, resting her hand on the top of his head and lightly stroking his dark brown hair.

"Morning, babe," A.J. echoed, kissing his girlfriend tenderly. He noticed the fact that he was lying on top of her and started to move. "Oh, sorry, honey. You probably want to breathe, huh?"

Katie giggled and held onto him. "No, don't move. I love it when you're so close to me like this."

"Me" A.J. slid his hands under her and rolled over onto his back, pulling her on top of him. "I like this better."

"Why? Cause you can see down my shirt?" Katie assumed, laughing.

A.J. looked down there and then looked up and grinned. "Well, I didn't notice that before, but...okay!"

Katie kissed him softly and then laid her head down on his chest. "I love you so much, Alex," she sighed.

"I love you too, baby," he whispered. He was about to drift off to sleep again when his eyes widened. OH SHIT! he thought. Another craving was coming on fast. Shit, shit, shit...what the hell am I gonna do?! A.J. tried to ignore it, but it was much too strong. He had to have a cigarette. Grimacing, he gently tapped Katie on the shoulder. "Uhm, baby, could you get off of me for a second? I gotta pee."

"Hm? Oh, sure." Katie rolled onto her back, and A.J. smiled quickly at her before hurrying out of the room and down the stairs. Katie frowned and sat up. There was a bathroom right next to her room. Why would A.J. go all the way downstairs? Katie went down to the kitchen to make some breakfast.

She was scrambling some eggs when she felt a pair of hands rest lightly on her hips from behind and lips against the crook of her neck.

"Mm...hey again, baby," she mumbled.

He slid his arms around her waist and started to pull her backwards away from the stove and towards him. "Hey."

"A.J., why did you go all the way downstairs to use," she said as he turned her around to face him and kissed her. "A.J., the eggs," she breathed as he moved his tongue over her lips and then into her mouth.

He smirked, reached past her, and turned off the burner before easing her legs around his waist and starting towards the living room.

"What, two times yesterday weren't enough for you?" Katie asked in amusement as he laid her down on the couch.

A.J. smirked. "I can never get enough of you, baby."

Katie laughed as he pulled off his shirt and climbed on top of her.

* * *

Linz mumbled a string of curses to herself as she set the bags of groceries down on the kitchen counter and rubbed her temples, feeling her head start to throb.

"Hey there."

Linz looked up and saw Kevin leaning against the door frame, smiling warmly at her. "Hey," she said softly, not quite making eye contact.

"Are you okay?" Kevin asked, seeing the worried and tense expression on her face.

"Yeah, I just have a headache," Linz replied, sitting at the table and leaning back in her chair.

"Oh..." Kevin walked over to her, removed her hands from her head, and put his own hands in their place.

Linz sighed sharply. "Kev, you don't have to--"

"Shh, I want to," Kevin said, kneeling down beside her.

Linz bit her lip as he kept rubbing her head. He pressed too hard, and she stiffened.

"Sorry, honey...want me to get you an aspirin?"

Linz could take his loving kindness anymore; she didn't deserve it. "I can take care of myself, Kevin," she muttered, pushing his hands away and standing up. She didn't dare look back at her boyfriend's face as she walked out of the kitchen and up to her room. As Linz reached the top of the stairs, she broke into a run and threw herself across the bed in tears.

Downstairs in the kitchen, Kevin could hear the faint sound of Linz's wrenching sobs and swallowed hard. He didn't know what was the matter with his girlfriend lately. Ever since he had gotten back home, she had been acting so strangely, pushing him away one minute and holding onto him the next. I guess I should just give her time, he mused. She'll talk to me when she's ready. He sighed and decided to call Katie. A talk with his little sister was probably just what he needed.

Kevin pressed speed dial 6 and held the receiver of the cordless phone to his ear. Someone picked up after three rings.

"Hello?" A.J.'s voice said. He sounded out of breath.

"Hey, it's me, is Katie--"

"Yeah, one second." Kevin could hear giggling in the background as A.J. was no doubt handing the phone to Katie.

"Hey, Kev, could you call me back later?" Katie's voice panted. She was still lying with A.J. on the couch.

"Um...I was just wondering if the four of us are still on for tonight?" Kevin asked.

"Oh, yeah...hold on, lemme ask Bone." Katie must have been covering the mouthpiece with her hand, for her voice sounded muffled as she asked A.J. the question. "Yeah, we're in," she said after a moment, sounding normal again.

"'Kay...what club do you want to go to?" Kevin wondered.

" about...A.J., stop that!" she said through laughter. "Sorry. Uhm...I don't care. Why don't you and Linz pick us up around eight, and we can just go wherever y'all want to go?"

"That's fine. I'll, uh, see you then."

Katie sensed the uneasiness in her brother's voice. "Kevin--"

"Well, I don't want to keep you from...whatever you were doing. See you later."

Katie sighed. "Okay, Kevin. I love you."

"Love you too. Bye."

"Bye." Katie hung up the phone with a concerned frown on her face, but it transformed into a smile as A.J. pulled her close to him again.

Kevin slammed the phone down. Why was that always happening lately? Katie was always blowing him off for A.J. Kevin and his little sister never talked like they used to anymore. It wasn't as if they were hostile to each other or anything, just more like they were estranged acquaintances instead of the closely knit family they used to be. And this whole thing with Linz ignoring him wasn't helping either. Kevin felt tears sting his eyes as he put his head in his hands. No one needs me anymore! he thought as his body started to shake with painful sobs.


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