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Chapter 9

AJ returned to his room as Rachel stated the shower. "Nice going dumb ass." Brian said to Nick, who had pulled a Butterfinger out of his pocket and was unwrapping it.

"Dude," Nick said, fumbling with the wrapper. "How was I supposed to know she was awake?"

AJ walked up to Nick and took the candy bar. "It was you?" he said, smacking Nick in the head with the bar. Nick nodded and AJ shoved him against the wall.

"Dude, what is your problem?"

"I broke up with her yesterday." AJ said angrily. "That's my problem."

Kevin stepped in between Nick and AJ. "AJ, cool it." He said. "Obviously Nick had no idea, or he wouldn't have said anything, okay?"

"Well," AJ said. "What am I supposed to do now? I love her."

"I had no idea man." Nick said sarcastically, rubbing his throat where AJ had grabbed him.

AJ wheeled around to face him, Kevin still standing in his way. "You better shut your hole, Nick, before I shut it for you."

"Go ahead, McLean." Nick said, jumping from foot to foot, like a boxer, a wide smile on his face.

"I'm warning you Carter." AJ said, stepping closer.

Nick grinned, enjoying himself. "It's not my fault you picked a street corner slut to fall in love with." His smile instantly faded when he saw the look on AJ's face change. He attempted to put Kevin back in between them, but Kevin just left the room.

Suddenly, AJ flew at Nick, grabbing his jacket.

Brian grinned as Kevin turned around at the door. "Do I have to do everything?" he muttered as he walked back towards AJ, who was on top of Nick, beating on him.

Kevin grabbed AJ by the belt and lifted him into the air. "Get that asshole out of here." He told Brian, who was dragging a bruised Nick out of the room.

AJ stood up, angrily straightened his shirt and paced over to the window. "Ugh, that prick."

Kevin half smiled. "Cool it AJ, you're going crazy!"



Rachel stepped out of the shower and wiped the steam off the mirror. As she dried off, she sniffed quietly and wiped the tears from her eyes. She didn't want AJ to know she had been crying.

"How could he?" she asked her reflection. The tear streaked face in the mirror didn't hold the answer she wanted, but at least it showed that her cut was healing. She poked at the three-inch long gash and winced, it still hurt.

Once she was dressed, Rachel walked down the hall.

She could hear AJ and Kevin talking.

Standing just outside the door, Rachel stopped to listen.

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