Through Thick And Through Thin


Chapter Twenty-Five

Katie couldn't stop laughing as the song ended, and she and Howie let go of each other. "That was so much fun!" she commented as they caught their breath.

Howie shrugged and grinned at her. "I need some water," he gasped. "I'll be back." Katie nodded.

"So will we," Linz added, grabbing Kevin's hand and pulling him after Howie.

Katie gave them a little wave and looked back down as she turned around. When she lifted her head from the floor, she jumped about a foot.

A.J. was standing there, wearing the clothes that she had bought him. The shirt showed off his muscular arms and upper body, and Katie could see that he wore the ring on his right hand, too. She swallowed hard, seeing that his brown eyes were filled with tears. He stepped forward and carefully took her hand in his.

"Katie..."

Just hearing his voice made Katie remember what he had done, and she jerked her hand away. "What the hell are you doing here, A.J.? How did you find out about this?" she demanded.

"You didn't hang up on Brian, so I asked him what was going on," he explained, forcing himself to remain calm.

"And you think you can just come here and waltz right back into my life?" Katie assumed. "You fucking lied to me."

A.J. paused, searching for the right words. Katie could always see right through to his motives like that. "Well..."

"Well nothing. I'm not taking you back this time!" Katie yelled, glad that the music drowned out most of the noise they were making.

"Katie, please, let me explain. See, I wasn't gonna smoke them! I was--"

"Throwing them out? Please, A.J.! Do you honestly think I'm going to believe that?!"

"I was hoping," he whispered sadly.

Katie rolled her eyes. "That's pathetic."

A.J. looked up at her again. "Maybe so. Maybe it is pathetic. Maybe it's pathetic that I love you and would do anything to get you back, but...hey, that's how I feel."

Katie stared at him for a second before speaking again. "That is such shit!" she commented. "Listen, A.J., I really don't want to talk to you anymore! Ever! And I don't give a damn about the fact that you and Kevin are in the group or whatever. From now on, we just won't communicate."

"Katie--"

She held up a restraining hand and cut him off. "Just let me be and save your trite, pitiful bullshit for someone who'll buy it!"

Katie turned and stormed away before A.J. could reply, leaving him to stand there and stare after her as his tears started to fall.


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