Status: Discontinued

Have Kids, Then We'll Talk

Bitter Grounds

We sit in the NY’s trade-mark yellow cab. We being Aiden, Dan and I and all I can think about at the moment is Aiden’s hand playing with the hem of my dress and Dan’s somewhat sour and distant face, as if he’s not really here with us, but visiting the dreamland or something.

I slap away Aiden’s annoying tentacles and glare at him, still resenting him with all my being for actually daring to do what he has done to me earlier in the evening. I just don’t get this guy sometimes – is it so hard for him to let us just be friends? Can’t he just see me as that?

I actually mock my own thoughts and emit a dry chuckle as a sudden realization dawns on me at exactly 11 pm. Well not so much a realization as a simple question – am I losing my charm? Am I losing whatever it was that used to make me special in his eyes as to not consider me another fuck? I figure it doesn’t really matter anymore. Even yesterday I knew that shit would hit the fan this year. This will turn out to be one of those years one just begs to forget.

“Danny-boy, why so sour?”

The sound of Aiden’s smooth voice disturbs the silent humming of the car’s engine and drones out the muffled shrieks of the outside traffic. It isn’t until then that I realize that Dan’s fingers are clutching onto his favorite shirt feverishly tight, the pressure only increasing now that Aiden’s knuckles brush his high cheek bone. Dan has such a pretty face.

“Nothing, just thinking about… er, stuff.”

The small boy shakes his head and waves him off with a tight smile, his fingers still gripping that shirt ever so tightly, eyes shimmering in the semi-darkness with their soft glow, so much like his father’s. And we all know what effect those eyes – his father’s, of course – have on me. Time to giggle – but nothing comes out but a tiny pang of something I’ve never felt before. Jealousy. The way he’s looking at him, such affection, to him Dan isn’t just a cheap fuck-toy, or someone to tease. I wonder what Aiden would say if he knew that he isn’t the only one feeling like our friendship is slowly slipping away through our fingers.

I stare at the back of Aiden’s head for a little while longer, completely caught up in my thoughts, outraged by my jealousy and trying to compose myself well enough not to get shit-faced once we finally reach the club.

Breathe, dumbfuck.


Two pairs of eyes are suddenly much, much too close to my face than I would normally prefer. I blink a few times, breaking out of my daze and smile then notice the pompous gathering outside the Wentz house.

“Yeah, erm, sure, time to get out. Sweet.”

I teeter to the entrance, leaving the both of my friends behind, suddenly all too desperate to get lost in the thronging mass on the dancefloor, to drone out my thoughts and simply lose myself completely in another one of those alcohol induced dancefloor dreams where the music is loud, the liquor hard and the bodies hot and sweaty.

Unfortunately, I don’t get too far and turn my head around to angrily glare at whoever who dared to grab my arm. My hair whips against the boy’s face and when the carefully arranged tresses finally fall back into their place, I see Jay’s bright face adorned with a gleaming smile.

“Evening, Charlie,” he greets politely, letting go of my hand instantly, apologizing with his eyes. I smile back at him and utter a small greeting, kissing his cheek in progress. I do my best not to act like I noticed the softest shade of red that spilled over his cheeks once I pressed my lips against his hot skin.

Telling him I’ll find him in the 'VIP' room later, I run along my way to the bar, already itching for a decent screwdriver. As expected, Mads and Cass show up just in time, both dressed absolutely horrid and absolutely great. I can’t explain – if you knew Cass like I did, you’d never expect her to wear something that short, but who am I to speak? That girl’s all fucking legs. She must have heard about Dan being here.

I giggle and without even mentioning the delicate topic of her being head over heels for Iero Jr. she rolls her eyes at me readily. Mads joins in just about when I finally get hold of my drink and order a couple of more for the two of them. Nota bene, the bartender is sizzling, I’d tap that in no-time.

Anyway, Mads is showing off her pretty legs as well and she pulls her skirt a bit down when I voice my predicament that she’ll be mooning half the dancefloor later. I just love the way we function – Cass, Mads and myself – everything’s honest and open, no ulterior motives and secret desires, no lies and all that stuff that usually wreck human relationships.

Dancing, with my hair clinging to my face in a hot sweat, with my hands touching my body and rocking to the pulsating beat, I feel free. Shackled by the alcohol in my system, but free nevertheless. My head is spinning and my ears are buzzing, someone’s hands are touching me and I break away, kiss Mads’ cheek in the process and wink at the Wentzspawn who got us in here in the first place. Those two will so end up swapping spit later.

Jay is already sitting at his table, apparently flirting with whatsername and I take my seat next to him, pretending to not to really care about the idiocies leaving that girl’s mouth. Apparently she really admires his art and she’s been to all his art shows. The only show she’s been at was probably the peep show down at the strip club where a bunch of sweat old truckers stared at her naked ass. Wow, I sound so bitter.

His hand touches my exposed shoulder and I shrug it away, readjusting my dress. His figure shifts on the leather seat behind me and his face dives out of the strobe-lights bathed darkness, his nose almost touching mine, his alcohol breath hot on my face. And I want to say something, but as usual, I lose myself somewhere in my too complicated thought process and just smile instead.

“It took you long enough, Charlotte,” he says, his words a bit slurred, “I missed you.”

As much as I wish to make a snide remark about his groupie, I bite back those words and greet back, avoiding to mention that I perhaps, kinda, sorta missed him too. It’s weird; this thing between us, if there is anything between us at all… It’s like a hurricane of mixed signals, subtle hints and elusive smiles.

Jared Way makes me act like a fool.

“Who’s the lucky bastard tonight?”

His chest leans into my back accidentally – or not – and I scoot away from him, a bit taken aback by the implication in his question.

“I mean, besides my brother, of course.” And cue the mischievous, lopsided smirk. I want to smack him so badly.

“I came here alone,” I reply through clenched teeth and watch his smile fade with a kind of sadomasochistic pleasure when I add, “and plan to leave that way, too.”

“Of course, it was absolutely foolish to imply anything else. How horrid of me.”


Several minutes pass in an intoxicated kind of silence as he enjoys his drink slowly, savoring the bitter taste of the vile golden liquid that stuck to his lips in tiny amber droplets. I really ought to stop noticing such things. I’m making myself want to puke.



“May I have a kiss?”



“You’re drunk, Jared.”


“Stop using that patronizing tone, Jay, you’re drunk.”

“If that makes me your patron…”



I turn to face him and lose my breath. His face so impossibly close and so impossibly beautiful. So impossibly in love with me, but so impossibly drunk. It’s all just an alcoholic haze anyway. No matter how smooth and sweet and respectful and elegant he is, he is still a guy.

What am saying?!

It’s Jared Way, for fuck’s sake, he isn’t a guy, he’s fucking prince charming! He’s also Aiden’s brother, of course. Ugh, fuck Aiden, for once, can’t I just do something without him or Dan? Will I still be stuck with Aiden when I’m, like, 60 ?


“I love you, Charlotte McCracken. Why won't you let me show it?!”

I roll my eyes and a series of amused chuckles gets stuck somewhere in my throat when I take in the seriousness of his face.

“Jay, you’re acting impossibly stupid.”

“But I do love you.”

“You’re a spoiled, drunk brat at the moment. You can’t love anyone while you’re like this.”

At least not me.

"Do you really know me so well, now, Charlie?"

"I hate..."

He cut me off before I said something that was the farthest from what I meant.

“Then what are you doing with Aiden?”

Touché, young asshole.

“That’s different, we are friends.”

“You kiss all your friends like that, Charlotte? Are we not friends yet?” He takes my hand and brushes his lingering lips against my palm. "Oh how I would love to be..."

He hit a nerve. It’s just this thing Aiden and I have. This… this teasing game. I can have him and he can have me, but neither one of us will ever succumb to the other’s wishes. I can’t change it, it’s the way we breathe… It’s also the reason why I can’t have a normal relationship, too. Jared knows it. I’ve seen the way he watches people, he sees right through them, perhaps he sees right through me?

It’s not fair.

I don’t realize what I’m doing until I hear the slapping sound of the collision between my palm and the soft skin of his smooth cheek.

But he doesn’t back away, his hand now on my knee and my heart racing, pounding against my ribcage as if trying to hurl itself into his hands. God, make me stop sounding so fucking sappy and smite me!

I pull down my dress and stare him right in the eye, pushing his hand away. “Stop it, Jay, please.”

“No, I love you and I want to know why you can't give me what you always hand over to him.”

“He’s my friend! That’s all!”

“Then why don’t you want me?”

Unlike mine, his voice remains silken, quiet and soft in my ear, suddenly louder than the blasting music and overall background static noise.

“I do,” I whisper, half hoping he didn’t hear me.

And cue the kiss that seals the deal.

Still tasting him, I leave his side and run to the bar, get a drink, down it, fix my face in the bathroom and make my way home, calling up the girls to join me in my room. I think I have a couple of beers stashed in the freezer that Quinn and Jeph haven’t found yet.

I don’t know whether I want to remember it or simply forget. I don’t know what I want. I love him. Who?
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Temporarily posted in Bastard Son's place, which she will repost under her username after she returns from a break. Title is also tentative.