I wake up, snuggled against Jeremy's chest. I can tell by his soft breathing that he's still asleep. For a moment it's blissfully peaceful, and then last night's conversation comes pouring back into the front of my mind. How could his mother do that to him? I wonder if that's the reason he's so closed off to me most of the time. I shift against him, adjusting my head to fix the crick in my neck. He shifts a bit as well but stays asleep. I wonder what time it is. I could try to get up and find my phone, but I don't really feel like moving. His arm tightens against me and he turns his head until his lips are resting by my cheek and I can feel his warm breath on my skin. Now I'm definitely sure that I won't be moving. I no longer care what time it is. For the first time, we weren't drunk when we fell asleep together. I smile and close my eyes, reveling in the perfection of this moment.
When I wake up again, Jeremy's eyes are open, though he still seems half asleep. "G'morning." He mumbles, in the sleepy voice that I love, with the traces of a smile on his lips.
"Good morning." I whisper back. My own voice sounds slightly raspy from sleep and I hope he doesn't hate the sound of it as much as I do.
Someone pounds on the wall beside Jeremy's curtain-door. "Jer, wake up! We're going discing!"
Jeremy groans and closes his eyes for a minute. "I hate mornings."
"It's not morning anymore. Get up, lazy bum!"
There's more pounding against the wall and Jeremy sighs. "Alright, alright. We're up!"
We're. He said 'we're' as in me and him. I bit the inside of my bottom lip to keep a ridiculous smile off my face. There must be something wrong with me. I've never gotten this happy over such a simple thing. If Andrew or Anna saw me right now... I shake away the thought. They'd never let me live it down. This crazy happiness over one word.
Jeremy sits up and rubs one hand over his face, yawning loudly. I push myself to sit up as well, and I realize, again, that I'm wearing his pajama pants and a large tee shirt. I vaguely remember changing into them, after we realized we were falling asleep outside. Falling asleep came so easily after that. I haven't been that tired in a while. Apparently, he's thinking about the clothes I'm wearing too because he looks at me and says, "I bet Marlie might have some clothes you could borrow."
"Is she here?"
"I'll go find out." He practically crawls out of his bed, which isn't hard considering his bed is just a mattress on the floor, and then pushes himself to stand up. I reach over to the pile of my clothes to find my phone. I managed to send a text to my dad a bit after midnight last night, to let him know I wouldn't be coming home. I texted Anna too, using her as my cover. With any luck I won't get grounded.
Within a few minutes, he comes bounding back in with Marlie in tow. "I always knew there was a reason I overpack." She's lugging her duffel bag behind her and she drops it onto the floor in front of me with a happy grin. "Everything in here is clean! All my dirty clothes are in the car." She gives us both a sheepish grin and then turns to leave. "Let me know when you're done so I can get my stuff."
"So, what kind of clothes are 'disc golf appropriate'?"
I'm surprised when Jeremy sits beside me next to the duffel bag and rifles through it. "Just like jeans and a shirt." I'd expected him to not want to look at a bunch of girls clothes, but he doesn't seem to mind.
"Real helpful there Jeremy." I laugh and he looks up at me with a smile.
"I was being sarcastic."
"I chose to take it as a compliment."
I laugh again and roll my eyes as I pull out a cute pair of skinny jeans. Jeremy surprises me by handing me a cute floral top. "What about this?"
"Cool, thanks!" He just nods, with that adorable smile still on his face. "Now, turn around so I can change." He sticks his tongue out at me but turns around anyway and lets me change in peace. I pull on my shoes, turned away from him, while he changes and grabs my hand to pull me downstairs to dig up some breakfast. "There's a large possibility that we're out of food." He warns me as we enter the kitchen.
Derek brushes past us, with a slight chuckle. "Not a large possibility, a large reality. We're out. We're gonna stop somewhere on the way. Let's go!"
Cameron nearly walks into us as we pass the bathroom. "Brookie! You're coming discing?"
"You're the one who invited me." I tell him.
He grins. "Only because Jeremy was too chicken."
Jeremy's hand tightens on mine for a second, and I realize that I'd nearly forgotten he was still holding it in the first place. "I wasn't a chicken." He grumbles and Cam laughs.
"Oh, right. You're scared of chickens."
"Scared of chickens?" I can't help but ask and Jeremy turns slightly pink.
"Shut up Cameron." He grouches and Cam bursts into laughter.
"Come on you guys!" Jack hollers from the doorway. "I'm starving!"
"Are we all gonna fit in one car?" Jeremy asks as we head for the door.
"There's only the five of us. Oh wait, Russell too."
Upon hearing his name, Russell pops out of his bedroom, looking ready to go. "Are we leaving now?" He asks.
"Jack, how are we doing this?" Cameron asks once we're all outside.
Jack glances at us all and then at his car. "We'll fit. Derek will be up front with me. Cam, Brookie and Jer will be in the backseat, and Russell... Well, Russell, you can sit in the trunk."
"No way! Not again!" He shouts.
"Again? Please don't tell me you've seriously put him in the trunk before!" I turn to Jeremy, though I'm not sure what kind of answer I expect from him.
"Well, it wasn't a very long trip..."
"Oh my goodness. You guys really are crazy."
"Oh good," Derek says. "She's catching on!"
"I can't believe you guys are proud of this."
"You can all squish into the backseat." Jack says, opening the driver's side door. "Let's get going. I don't want to be here all day."
It takes a lot of fidgeting and rearranging before we're all fairly comfortable, or at least, not completely uncomfortable. I'm practically sitting on Jeremy's lap, which is fine with me, but I'm hoping that I'm not squishing him too much. "Oreo!" Cam shouts suddenly as we round a corner and he shoves against Russell, causing him to fall against me and pin Jeremy and I against the door.
"Ouch, dude, what the-" I place my hands over Jeremy's mouth before he can finish his sentence.
"No swearing, please."
Cam laughs. "What are you, our mother?" I turn and glare at him until he stops laughing, and shrinks away from me. "Alright, alright, no swearing."
We round another corner, the opposite way and Jeremy pushes back against Russell, causing me to fall over both Russell and Cam, nearly hitting my head against the window. My arms flail and I accidentally whack the back of Jack's head. "Guys, be careful!" Jack shouts out. "I'm trying to drive here." Cam and Jeremy help me sit back up, and I almost elbow Russell's stomach as I try to re-situate myself.
Derek spins around in the seat until he can see us and he starts to laugh. "Bunch of sardines back there, eh?"
"Canadian now, are ya?" Cam asks, copying the accent Derek pulled out to a tee.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Derek says back, making 'about' sound like 'a-boot'. Russell laughs and Cam drops it.
"You'll never beat me at accents, Cameron. It's not possible." He sounds Irish, or Scottish this time. I can't be quite sure which one it is and Cameron just shakes his head.
"I give up."
"Where are we stopping for breakfast?" Jeremy asks, moving his arm to wrap around me. I'm not sure if he did it because he wanted to, or if the new position is more comfortable, but either way, I'm happy he did it.
"How about Dennys?" Cam asks. Russell nods his head in agreement. Derek grins.
"My favorite place."
"So, Denny's it is then?" Jeremy questions.
"Any objections?" Jack uses the time at the stop light to glance in the rear view mirror at us. No one objects. "Great, to Denny's!"
We crowd into a booth near the back of the restaurant. The waiter sounds too happy to have worked here for long as he asks us what we'd like to drink. After scribbling down our orders, he looks up at us all with a smile. "Okay, I'll go get your drinks while you guys look at the menus!" And he bounces off.
"He's either gay or a new-bee to the waiter industry." Derek says decisively.
"That's a bit... rude." I say.
"Come on now, you think he doesn't seem gay?"
"No. I think he just seemed happy. I'd rather have a happy waiter than a grouch who looks like he wants to spit in our food." I say.
Derek pauses, and then nods his head. "Touche."
I smile and beside Jeremy grins. "Not many people get the best of Derek like that." He whispers quietly. I look back at him and my smile grows, without my consent.
No one else seemed to hear his words, as they delve into their own conversations about what to order. "Unlimited pancakes." Cameron says, looking down at his menu.
"Ha. With restrictions." Jeremy points out the small words and Cameron frowns.
"How can something unlimited have restrictions?"
"Take it up with Mr. Happy." Jack says, turning his menu to the sandwich page. "I wonder if I can order extra bacon on the BLT?"
"I don't see why not." Jeremy says, looking down at the menu.
I decide on a french toast and fruit order. Mr. Happy, as Jack called him, comes back up to the table holding a tray with all our drinks on it. "Do you guys need more time with the menu?" He asks.
"I think we know what we want, right?" Jack glances at each of us and with no objections, starts ordering. Derek adds his order. We skip over Jeremy because he's still thinking. Russell orders, I order, Cam orders and Jeremy decides what he wants, placing his order in last.
"And are these all on the same bill?" Mr. Happy asks.
"No, all separate." Jack says.
Mr. Happy scribbles that down, collects our menus, and heads off, telling us he'll place our orders and be back in a bit.
I'm the last to finish my meal, surprising since I ordered the smallest meal out of all of us. "I really don't get how you guys eat that fast." I say. Jeremy sneaks his fork onto my plate and steals a strawberry. I try to frown at him but I can't keep the stupid smile off my face so I just shake my head a bit and he laughs.
"You're taking too long. I figured I'd help you out."
Derek and Jack head off to the bathroom and Russell looks like he's about to fall asleep. I stab the last piece of fruit with my fork, Jeremy managed to somehow get his hands on my last piece of french toast. Not that I really care about it, I was getting full anyway. "Yay, she's done! Let's go!" Cam says, jumping up from the table.
"I don't know where you think you're going." Jeremy says. "Jack's got the keys. And he's in the bathroom."
Cam groans and falls back into the seat. "I want to go discing." He whines.
Mr. Happy comes back, with our bills and thankfully mine isn't too expensive. "Does he come back for us to pay, or..." I trail off and Jeremy answers.
"We pay up at the front before we leave."
By the time Derek and Jack come back, Russell is actually asleep, leaning against the booth with his head tilted to the side, his mouth wide open. Jack grins and picks up the bottle of ketchup. "Oh gross." I wrinkle my nose up as Jack brings the bottle up above Russell's head and squirts some of it into his open mouth. "That's disgusting."
Russell jerks awake, spitting ketchup everywhere. He grabs a napkin and wipes his tongue off. "That's nasty." He says, gulping down the remainder of his orange juice. "I hate you, you know." He tells Jack.
Jack plays innocent, his hands behind his back. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Russell just rolls his eyes and stands up. "Well, are we leaving or not?"
Anonymous: I know, right? What's even sadder is that actually happened to someone I know. Isn't he just adorable though? I'd love to hear from you again!!
Bookluver78: Hehehe, I was pretty sure you knew that! (It's okay! I talk about them like they're real too! You should hear me talking to my sister about them! She's like my editor/advisor!) Thanks so much! I love how much you seem to like my story! It makes me soo happy! Yeah, that last chapter was a hard one to write! But I'm glad you enjoyed it! I thought you guys all needed to know a bit more about Jeremy you know, gives a bit of clue into why he is the way he is. I hope you liked this chapter just as much! I can't wait to read your next comment!!
Zelia: I loved the pictures!! Yay! I'm so glad you liked the chapter! I thought it'd be nice to give some background on Jer, you know? I hope you like this chapter just as much!! And I know? Isn't Jeremy just dreamy? Hahaha!