First.Second"We never talk anymore."
The voice is soft, lacking the usual blame that accompanies such words, and the lips from which they sprung now lazily clamp down on a cigarette, taking a long drag and blowing smoke out in a languid circle.
"What are you on about?" demands the other voice in the room, a slightly higher voice that smacks of boyish femininity. "We talk all the time."
The first voice snorts skeptically. "Yeh, but really not," it says, with just a hint of bite. "You know?"
"No," says the second voice, beginning to whine. "I don't know!"
"You are so full of yourself," accuses the first.
"You wanna talk?" hisses the second. "Fine! Talk away, George. Talk. Away."
The first lips curl back into an exquisite snarl, revealing a pair of particularly pointy canines. "No fuck you!" its voice spits. "This is exactly what I'm talking about!"
"You just said that you wanted to talk!" The second is grasping at straws by this point. "Make up your bloody mind already!"
"Oh, will you
Flexible--Rydon--52"They could play the stage gay," Pete tells Patrick. It's night on the Fall Out Boy bus, which means that Joe and Andy are playing video games, Pete is doing his usual drunk-journaling, and Patrick is trying to sleep.
"Hmm?" Patrick's voice is drowsy; he hates encouraging Pete's ramblings when it's past midnight.
Pete sets down his journaland his drinkto clamber into the bunk beside Patrick. "Ryan and Brendon," he says. "They could play the stage gay."
Patrick raises his head to stare incredulously at Pete. "Why would you do that to them?" he asks.
"Do what to them?" asks Pete, glancing at Patrick in surprise.
Scowling, Patrick shoves Pete out of his bunk. "Don't play stupid," he warns. "It doesn't suit you well."
"What are you talking about?!"
"How would you ruin their friendship like that!" exclaims Patrick. All ideas of sleep are gone from his mind. He has more important things to worry about.
"Like what?" Pete's voice is dangerously soft.
Turning his back on the man who
3-Tempo di valsePatrick suggests that Pete and Ryan have one-on-one sessions to help Ryan make the most of her songwriting, and the girl's eyes widen, a look of pure terror flitting across her face, as Pete coughs awkwardly. Brendon, completely unaware of the tensions, asks, "Would it be much of a bother if I sit in with you guys? I'm pretty interested in songwriting myself."
"Yeah," Ryan all but squeaks. "That's a great a idea."
"Definitely," Pete agrees in relief, making sure not to look at Ryan. "Why don't we start next week?"
It's October, Spencer's finally a legal adult, and Ryan's dropped out of college, much to George's displeasure, to devote herself to the band. They're all staying in Las Angeles for the year to finish their album, and Ryan hates feeling caged as she walks around Pete's house.
"You have to get over it eventually, Ry," Spencer tells her that night as they get ready for bed. "If we're gonna be famous, it won't be good to have you so obviously uncomfortable with the man th
2-Vivace con fuocoRyan has a secret. Spencer knows but she won't tell him what it is. She won't tell any of the boys. She's only recently let Brendon into her close circle of friends, and when Brent finally picks up that she's hiding something, all he does is poke her in the shoulder. "Hey, dumbass, do you have a crush on me?"
"You wish, loser," Ryan retorts, but his words are like a little sting, reminding her of her former crush on Trevor.
"Or how about Brendon?" Brent presses on. "D'you have a crush on Brendon?"
Brendon's eyes fly wide and a blush streaks his cheeks as Ryan glares at Brent. "You're pushing it, jerk-face," she warns him. "Drop it."
"Then what is your secret?" Brent asks.
"I said drop it."
Ryan's never thought of herself as unlucky, but when she finally works up the courage to talk to her father about her secret, is the one time George forgets to warn her, "Bad dad, Georgia!"
"Dad?" Ryan says quietly, tiptoeing into George's home office. "Can I talk to you?"
"How many times do I need to tell you to knock first?" the girl asks in an exasperated voice.
The man grins. "Oops." He backs out of her room and closes the door behind him. "Knock, knock," he calls out, reentering the room. "Time for dinner, Georgia."
"You know I hate it when you call me that, Dad." Her voice has the typical annoyed twelve-year-old-wish-I-was-a-teenager tone to it as she looks up from her journal.
Her father sighs and beckons her to kitchen. "I just don't understand why you insist on calling yourself by a boy's name," he grouses as they sit down to a dinner of homemade macaroni-and-cheese.
"Then you shouldn't have given me the middle name 'Ryan,'" the girl replies with a half grin, even though she knows it's a family name, and takes a bite of the mac-and-cheese. "Mm, it's delish, Dad!"
George smiles fondly at his daughter. "Just the way you always like it?" he asks, and she nods.
"Just the way I always like it," Ryan confirms and nudges his leg