Second Shot – The Senior Year – 35
Second Shot – The Senior Year: Chapter 35
The night felt strained. Blake wished he’d told Jason he and Ethan didn’t want to be a part of the ‘party.’ Despite his best efforts to keep things chatty and friendly, even Ethan couldn’t cut the tension.
Then again, maybe Ethan was the problem. Blake noted how Hanna tensed up every time Ethan did something flamboyant. Wendy brought out the ‘gay’ in him—at least that is what Ethan whispered too him after a particularly funny exchange.
He thought he’d have minded the over-the-top, queeny performance, but seeing his boyfriend having fun, being himself, laughing with their friends, Blake realized that was part of the attraction; Ethan was comfortable being Ethan. Everyone—Hanna excluded—enjoyed the ‘show.’ Even Dean managed to laugh.
It wasn’t that she was hostile, but Hanna didn’t want to be there. Dean ignored the hints she made that she wanted to leave, but Blake—and probably everyone else—heard them. Twice Dean made eye contact with Jason who merely raised an eyebrow.
His hope for an early evening—where he and Ethan could be alone—showed no signs of happening. When Ethan and Wendy launched into a new back and forth, Blake got up to use the bathroom.
After drying his hands, he opened the door and nearly jumped back when he found Hanna standing inches away. “Whoa!”
Her eyes opened wider and she stepped back, but she quickly recovered. “Sorry.”
Blake nodded at her mumbled apology and stepped aside. “Sorry too. I didn’t expect anyone to be there. All yours.”
“It’s okay, I don’t really need to go. I just wanted to get up.”
“Ah.” He didn’t know what she meant by her comment, and he wasn’t sure he wanted clarification. “Well, I’ll leave you alone then.”
“Actually. . .” she touched his arm and kept it there while she made eye contact. “I really wanted to talk to you alone for a minute.”
“Um…about?” He’d barely said three words to her and he’d been okay with that. Especially after he learned what she’d said after they met the first time.
From the way her eyes tighten when she stared at him, Blake mentally braced himself for her answer.
“Look, I like Dean—a lot—and I think it would be a lot easier for us if you and your boyfriend would go do things on your own. He’s not comfortable seeing you two together.”
Although he’d expected something like this, her exact phrasing was a surprise. “He’s not, or you’re not?”
“Really?” Blake shook his head. Did she think everyone was blind and stupid? “So you’re saying he tolerates us because we’re friends with Jason and Peter?”
She glanced at the hallway leading to the rest of the house. “Yes.”
“Funny, he’s never mentioned that to me. And we talk all the time.”
Her sneer almost made him laugh. For a manipulator she needed to work on her delivery. “He’s not stupid. If he tells you, you’ll tell his brother.”
“But if you tell me instead of him, you think I won’t? Who’s stupid now?”
The glare his words earned him could have cut a diamond. “If you’re really his friend, you wouldn’t tell Jason, but even if you do, Dean will deny it and Jason will believe his brother over you.”
“Got this all figured out, don’t you?” This time Blake laughed. “First of all, I’m not going to tell Jason that Dean said that, because I know Dean didn’t say it. I will, however, tell them both what you said. Go ahead and deny it, cause I know you will. I’m willing to bet Jason will believe me over you.”
Her lips tightened and when she inched closer, Blake prepared himself in case she tried to slap him. “Why can’t you leave us alone?”
“Yes, you. You and your boyfriend. Dean’s brother and his boyfriend. Why can’t you people just stay away from us? We don’t want you around.”
“Now we’re, ‘you people?’ Really?” Blake resisted the urge to punch her offensive face. “You know, I don’t like you, so I’m not trying to be around you. Your problem is you need to convince Dean to not hang around us. Because right now, he’s choosing to be around us—his friends. If you don’t like it, take it up with him.”
“I’m warning you—stay away from us.”
“Or what, Hanna?” Jason’s voice surprised him. He looked up as Hanna turned around. Jason stood with his arms crossed. “What are you going to do?”
“Jason…he was threatening me. I was….”
Jason held up his hand. “Save it, Hanna. I’ve been standing here almost since you two started to talk. I saw your face as you stood up and I figured you were up to something.”
“Why do you hate me? You’ve been trying to split us up from the start.”
The ‘go on the offensive’ move might have impressed Blake under different circumstances. But the stupidity of the statement made him shake his head.
“No, actually it was Darryl, my straight best friend, who thought you were poison. I’m the idiot who tried to give you the benefit of the doubt.”
Watching his friend struggle, Blake felt sorry for Jason. He knew how much he wanted Darryl and Peter to be wrong.
“Why don’t you just go?” He nodded in the direction of the front door. “I’ll tell Dean what happened after you go and spare you the embarrassment of having to watch me tell him.”
She stared at Jason and Blake wondered which would blink first. From the blank look on his friend’s face, Blake had his money on Jason to win. He tore his gaze from the two of them when he heard footsteps.
Dean’s expression went from quizzical to concerned. “What’s going on?”
“Hanna’s leaving.” Jason never turned his attention from her.
“What?” Dean looked from her, to Jason and then to Blake. “What happened?”
Jason raised an eyebrow and Hanna finally blinked. Turning to Dean, she said. “I’m going home.”
Without waiting, she brushed past the brothers and headed down the hall.
“Wait!” Dean moved closer, but Jason touched his shoulder.
“Let her go.”
“But…” Dean’s face told Blake all he needed to know. “Everyone else was right about her, weren’t they?”
Jason twisted his lips and nodded.