CHAPTER 9

Thinking about Jackson didn't get me anywhere; thoughts of his lips on mine and the intoxicating scent of his cologne that still lingered in the air only made me feel one thing, and I'm not going to talk about it. I figured it was best to just let it go. Every time I closed my eyes, however, I saw Jackson. It wasn't an unpleasant image, but it made it really hard to sleep. When I finally did get to sleep, he haunted my dreams. I woke up feeling refreshed, but I was a little worried about riding with Jackson. Sure, we'd supposedly gotten rid of temptation, but I had the feeling that it wouldn't stop Jackson from making a move.

At 7:40 in the morning, Jackson honked his horn. I grabbed my purse and rushed out the door. I got into the front seat of the car and gave Jackson a smile.

"Morning Sophie," he said.

"Hey."

"About last night..."

"Yeah?"

"It'd be best if no one knew about it."

Was he embarrassed about making out with someone as uncool as me?

"It's not that I'm ashamed or anything, but if Simon catches wind of it... he'll get really upset, you know?"

I wondered if that was the real reason. Jackson was a good liar, and I knew that for a fact. I wasn't going to worry about it, I decided. "Okay."

"Hey, I'd tell everyone if I could, all right? You're a great kisser."

I fought against a smile and lost. "Thanks."

For a while it was quiet. "So," he began after a while. "Did you and Simon ever... you know... have sex?"

I felt a blush spread across my cheeks. "Um..."

"You don't have to answer... sorry I asked."

"No, it's okay... We did it a couple of times... but Simon just isn't that into me physically... I always wonder... what's wrong with me," I whispered. I'd never said that out loud. I wasn't sure why I was saying it now, to Jackson. I was surprised how much it hurt to think about how many times I'd faced rejection from Simon. I mean, he'd kiss me, but that was about it. He never showed any interest in my body. Whenever I took off any of my clothes he just looked at me like I was some sort of freak. Maybe my body wasn't perfect, but I wasn't deformed or anything.

"Nothing's wrong with you, cupcake. Maybe Simon is gay."

I stared at him.

"Okay, so that wasn't funny." He sighed. "I was just trying to make you feel better."

Well, at least he'd given an effort.

"Sophie, why would you wanna be with someone that makes you feel so unsure of yourself? You deserve to be with someone that lets you know how beautiful you are every day."

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, because there are so many guys out there that are like that."

"I'll get you and Simon back together if that's what you really want... but you could do better."

I smiled at him. "I appreciate the sentiment... but despite his flaws, Simon really means a lot to me."

"Then I'll make it work." He parked the car and we started towards the school interest. "I'll take you home with me today, we'll hang out; make a plan to get Simon to remember how fabulous you are. I'll meet ya by your locker."

"All right. Thanks Jackson," I said, flashing him a grin as we went our separate ways.

"I think it's a little weird that Jackson is being so nice to me," I said to Ellie when I got to my locker.

"Well, he likes you."

"He's an amazing kisser," I murmured.

"What!? What did you guys do?"

"He came over last night... and we made-out... I'm not supposed to tell anyone, 'cause if Simon finds out he'll be pissed. So don't mention it."

"He is amazing," she said. "I bet he's even better when he likes you."

"He doesn't like me!" I sighed. "He just wants sex."

"Whatever you say, Sophie. Do you think that Simon will take you back?"

I grimaced. "Guess we'll find out soon enough."

The day wasn't too bad, but it went extremely slow considering I was anxious to go to Jackson's and figure out how to get Simon to forgive me. Every time I passed Simon in the hall he sent me a death glare. On the bright side, though, I'd gotten through the entire day without anyone asking me about what had happened at the party... at least until five minutes before the bell during seventh hour.

"So, what's happening with you and Simon? He was really pissed when he pulled you off of Scott at Jackson's party," said Brenda Hampton. I sighed heavily; Brenda was one of Jackson's closest friends, so there was a good chance Jackson would fill her in if I didn't.

I was quiet a while. "Well, he broke up with me, but Jackson and I are going to get things worked out."

"Gosh, Jackson is so sweet." She smiled, twirling her long blond hair around her finger.

It was no secret Brenda was smitten with Jackson; it was also no secret that they'd slept together on more than one occasion. Despite all the chemistry there seemed to be between them, Jackson never asked her out. I'd have to find out why later on.

"Yeah, it's nice of him to help me out." I said.

"I can't believe you made out with Scott, though. He doesn't seem like your type!"

"I was drunk. He's not my type at all."

Before she could say anything else, the bell rang, and I was off like a shot.

I didn't have to wait long for Jackson to meet me at my locker. We walked out of the school without saying anything, I noticed he was walking a little closer to me than usual, but I didn't comment.

When we got in the car I looked over at him. "Tell me about Brenda."

"She's my friend... sweet girl, nice boobs."

"You guys have slept together."

"Sure. What does this have to do with anything? I've slept with a lot of girls."

.

"She really likes you. How come you've never asked her out?"

"Did she tell you to ask me?" He shook his head. "Brenda is hot, but I just don't date. Everyone knows that."

"She didn't tell me, I was just curious."

He frowned. "Well... enough about that. How was your day?"

"It was fine. I'll feel a lot better when Simon stops giving me dirty looks."

"Soon, cupcake." He turned on the radio, but kept the volume low. "Quiet enough for your fragile eardrums?"

I smiled. "Yes."

When we got to the house, Jackson and I sat on the couch and talked about Simon for a while. Then he stood up.

"I'm gonna get a drink, want anything?" He asked.

"Just some water would be great."

"All right. Be right back."

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