“He's irritating." He stood and started to pull up the hem of his shirt. "And he stabbed me."
Alex rolled his eyes. "And you're still alive. Time to get over it."
Kale held his hand out to Ginger. "Fine. Give me something sharp. If I stab him, then we'll be even.”
“Poking his head back through the bars, he kissed me. Not a quick peck on the cheek, either. No, kisses from Kale were enough to make a porn star blush.
Just part of the awesome that was my boyfriend.
My über hot, strangely innocent-yet-could-kill-you-with-a-bar-of-soap boyfriend.”
“Was anyone hurt?"
"Sadly, no," Kale mumbled. He folded his arms and looked toward the door with a sulky expression. I'll have to try harder next time.”
“Ohmygod," Jade whispered, panicked. She grabbed my arm and yanked, almost knocking me off balance. "Something moved in those bushes."
I shoved her off, pointed to the ground, and smiled. From under the bush, long ears attached to a tiny brown speckles head peeked out. "Yeah. That bunny is a Denazen suit in disguise. Where do you suppose he's hiding his gun? Or maybe he doesn't need one. Maybe he's a martial arts master trained in the art of kickassery.”
“I looked around. Kale was glaring daggers at Alex, who was staring at me like I'd lost my mind. Jade was eye-humping Kale like a lovesick puppy while Kiernan looked ready to kick her ass.
Seriously. Worse-timed drama ever.”
“So what'd we miss?" Jade pulled a chair from the next table and wedged it between Kale and Dax.
"We were just about to vote you off the island," I said, stirring my coffee.
"You've got my vote," Kiernan said enthusiastically, glaring at Jade.”
“Detention turned out to be code for slavery.”
“Because if you try to do it again, I'll touch you. Then the only thing you'll be touching is the wind as you're scattered across the world.”
“Hands on hips, Jade snickered. "I'm invincible. Go ahead and give it your best shot."
"I wonder how invincible you'd be if I shoved an M-80 up your ass?”
“Wow. And there it is. Your inner asshole just bled through.”
“Kale, jackass. His name is Kale," I snapped. Someone had joined the line behind Dad. The woman made an irritated noise of disapproval at my choice of wording and covered her small son's ears.
Great. Now I was corrupting children.”
“Kale turned away from me and stepped to Alex. "I know exactly what that means, and if you say it again, I'll touch you."
"Sorry, dude," Alex said, waving his hands. He flashed Kale a mock frown. "I don't swing that-”
“Jade opened her mouth - assumedly to shoot off another snipe - but froze. Arms flailing, she gave a small shimmy and squealed, "Notabunny. Notabunny!”
“As cheesy as this is gonna sound, everyone join hands."
Alex looked from my face to our tangled fingers and smirked. "As much as I like this, I'm thinking now's not the time to sing 'Kumbaya'.”
“Dax, normally impossible to ruffle, looked like he wanted to scream.
„Everyone was supposed to stay with their partners!”
„You're not my partner,” Kale said. There was no argument in the tone of his voice. Only a simple, static logic that was all Kale. „Dez is..”
“They're just friends." This time it came out a little sharper. If I squeezed the mayo any harder, it was likely to explode. "She's helping him learn control."
He waggled his eyebrows at me. The thin silver barbell above his right eye danced. "Control? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”
“My personality made me easy to get along with – unless you were looking at my guy like he was a big, juicy slab of prime rib with a side of mint chocolate chiop ice cream.”
“What was I doing? What I did best. Crazy shit.”
“I mean hell,, I was literally knocking on death's door, and I still looked awesome.”
“There were no leftover feelings for him, but seeing someone toss Alex around like a Frisbee made me slightly ill. Possibly because in the back of my head, I wanted to be the one doing it.”
“What can I do? She's here to help Kale."
"Sure she is. And I'm Ke$ha.”
“This is how it was with Kale. So easy to lose myself. Let all the walls down and forget about everything. He really was everything to me. My beginning and end.”
“Alex could name each member of every nineties alternative band ever formed. Kale could kick all their asses.”
“He didn’t operate on the same frequency as everyone else. On one hand, he was more dangerous than anyone I’d ever met.
He could slip into a room, kill you with a spatula, and be out of town before anyone knew about it. On the other, he was the most pure, untarnished soul I’d ever come across. It was an odd mix so uniquely Kale, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”
“I don't like him." Looking from Kale to Alex, Ginger said, "I don't like cabbage. Do you see me taking on the produce section of the food store?”
“„It's really all about focus and control. Clear your mind and think about the plant. Don't over think it. Picture green and pretty.”
Kale scrunched up his nose and cringed away.
„It's not pretty. It looks like a weed. And it smells bad.”
“Karma, continuing the Screw Dez kick it seemed to be on lately...”
“He stepped around me until he and Kale were nose to nose.
Even though I knew it was the remnants of the storm, I could almost imagine the lightning overhead as sparks rising from the shoulders of each boy.
Clashing Titans ready to fight to the death.”
“It was one thing to wake up feeling like I'd just been put through the puree stage of a blender- it was another to wake up feeling like I'd just been put though the puree stage of a blender to county music.”
“You and Dez make a cute couple. I can totally see the sparks between you two.” “Yeah,” I said, letting my head fall to the table. “And hopefully they’ll set Alex’s head on fire.” “Ouch,”
“I don’t want easy and uncomplicated. I want love that makes me fucking insane and irrational. I want to drown in it and never come back up for air.”
“Aeschylus writes, "In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grade of God.”
“But I didn’t relax. “Twenty-four hours, no longer,” said the voice. “And, Jack?” “What?” I spat. “Night, gorgeous.” I”
“all I hear are mixed messages.” “I’m unmixing them now. Listen. This is the one I want you to hear.”
“No good thing renders its possessor happy, unless his mind is reconciled to the possibility of loss; nothing, however, is lost with less discomfort than that which, when lost, cannot be missed.”
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