Friday, May 24th
"Are you sure surprising Jessica at her locker after class is a good idea? She's spent all her after school time this week on taking care of you at your place." Minhyun asked as Ren changed his books after his last class.
"He's right. Jess might actually try to knock you out so you'll get back in bed." Jonghyun added.
"Jess knows there's only one thing that's going to get me right back into bed right now." Ren replied.
"Okay. His fever's gone. He's ready to have again." Minhyun and Jonghyun rolled their eyes at him.
"What's in the bag?" Jonghyun nudged his head towards the small, black paper bag Ren pulled out of his locker.
"A thank you for Jess. She deserves it after everything."
"You mean the bet, keeping your relationship a secret and her taking care of you for the past few days?" Minhyun asked with a grin.
"Yes." Ren glared at him.
"Have fun." Jonghyun said as Ren turned to head over to Jessica's locker. Jessica was watching the clock like a hawk. She was desperately waiting for the end of her class, wanting to rush off to Jonghyun, so she could hitch a ride to Ren's home. The bell finally rang and she sprung up. She had gathered her belongings beforehand, so when her teacher dismissed them, she practically ran out of class. When reaching her locker, she slowed down, confused by someone's presence.
"Ren?" Her eyes widened at the realization. He smiled at her an nodded.
"Oh my god. Why are you here? You're supposed to be in bed!" She hugged him while nearly yelling at him.
"I feel fine. I was sick of being sick in bed. Needed a change of scenery." He reciprocating her hug.
"But, you should be resting. You still sound a bit stuffy." She pouted at him after pulling away a bit.
"Stop making that face. I'm very strongly trying to resist the urge to kiss you." She hugged him again.
"Why'd you bring that paper bag?" Ren smiled and pulled away. He handed the bag to her.
"Chopard? Is that a clothing brand or something?" She took out a rectangular, flat box.
"What's this?" She asked after opening it.
"Your birthstone, on a silver necklace."
"I just wanted to get you something special, and a little more personal. I felt the need to do something nice after everything these past few weeks." He smiled when she leaned against him and blushed. He put his arm around her waist as she looked over the necklace. They both flinched when someone next to them cleared their throat.
"Oh, hi." Jessica felt herself grow small when she saw Lizzy's and Nana's judging faces. Jessica even felt Ren tense up at the realization of their presence. Lizzy and Nana glanced at each other for a moment, before speaking up.
"We should've known the break up wouldn't last long." Lizzy said first.
"But, if you make Jessica happy, I guess we'll just back off. Let you guys be." Nana added.
"Wait, what?" Ren frowned.
"In their own deflecting way, I think they're trying to apologize for how mean they were to you, Ren." Raina clarified. Ren continued to look confused. The girls bid Jessica goodbye and walked off.
"Okay, that was odd." Ren said as Jessica got her bag ready for the weekend.
"In a way, it's sweet."
"I suppose." Ren rolled his eyes. After closing her locker, she grabbed Ren's hand, surprising him. "Does this mean I'm not a secret anymore?"
"Pretty sure everyone saw how I ran to you when you fell the other day. I missed the rest of my classes after that to take care of you, so there's not really a point in pretending we're not together." Ren smirked.
"Stop smirking." She hit his arm playfully.
"Let's go to my place." He put his arm around her shoulder and led her to his car.
Ren stirred a bit and sighed deeply before opening his eyes.
"Weren't we watching a movie?" He groaned.
"Yeah. You fell asleep like five minutes in. I just finished it by myself about half an hour ago." Jessica closed the book she was reading and set it aside as Ren sat up.
"Is that my hoody?" He frowned as he took her appearance in.
"Yup. When I saw you fell asleep, I paused the movie and decided to get into something more comfortable. I was barely back on the bed for ten seconds when you started clawing at me and then embraced me like I was a pillow."
"You know, very well actually, that I hug people in my sleep." Ren rubbed his eyes. "Plus, you are a pillow. I know better than anyone that you're stuffed to perfect softness."
"That was possibly the weirdest comment you've made about my s." She giggled.
"Challenge accepted. Damn, it's already dark out." He glanced outside.
"Yeah. I would've woken you up to ask if I could stay over, but you looked so cute and peaceful, I just couldn't." She blushed. "So, I just assumed I could stay."
"You can always assume that." He leaned closer, stopping as their noses touched.
"If only you weren't still sick." Jessica pouted. Ren smiled. He sat up and kissed her softly in-between her eyebrows.
"There's still plenty of spots I can show you how much I like you on." He smiled. He relaxed again and the two leaned against the headboard, cuddling.
"Do you ever think you can say it?" She looked at their intertwined hands as she spoke.
"What do you mean?"
"That you love me." She whispered. Ren sighed. He looked around, avoiding looking at her.
"I can't say."
"Because you don't feel it?"
"No, no. That isn't it. It's not." He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close. "I meant, I can't say how soon I can start saying those words without it feeling fake. I don't want it to feel like I'm lying to you. But, I don't think I even know what being in love feels like. Other than my mom I've never proclaimed my love for any woman."
"I thought I was different." She muttered as she looked down.
"You are. I swear, you are. You make me feel everything that any other girl hasn't, but saying those words just because you'd feel better hearing them, that's not fair to either of us. But, not saying those words doesn't mean I don't care about you. I care about you a lot. But, like you need time being intimate, I need time for this. Don't I deserve the same respect for that, as I give you?" Jessica sighed.
"Yeah. I hate it when you're right." She pouted.
"I'm the smartest kid in the school. Of course I'm right." He smirked.
"Show off." She rolled her eyes. Ren chuckled. "I'm hungry."
"Why didn't you get food while I was sleeping?"
"Because, I was being held in a near chokehold by a baby koala."
"Aww. I'm cuter than a koala though."
"Not really." Ren raised his eyebrows surprised.
"Koala's are literally small, furry animals who cuddle. Nothing's cuter than that."
"I'm sure I can challenge that."
"Not unless you lose that cocky smile and make me some ramen." Jessica grinned.
"What's that?" Ren frowned.
"What's ramen? Is that a fast-food chain? Like McDonald's?" Jessica chuckled in disbelief.
"How would you make me a fast-food chain?" He shrugged.
"Come on." She got off the bed and pulled his arm to get up.
"Because we're going to your kitchen, and I'm going to introduce you to heaven." She smiled.
"There's only way to heaven for me, and it's not found in a kitchen. Although it could be." She rolled her eyes at his joke as she pulled him along.
"I don't think I've been in here since I almost beat up my staff at that party I hosted." Ren sat down at a table as Jessica grabbed a pan to boil water in.
"Okay, I know you have a bit of an anger problem, but you need to stop being so casual about the fact you almost beat up people twice your age."
"Fine. Where are you getting those ramen from anyway? Considering I don't even know what it is, I doubt we'd have any."
"Trust me. Every household needs to have at least one packet somewhere in their home. Even insanely rich ones. Plus, you don't even do your own cooking, so I'd doubt you'd know what's all here anyway." Ren rolled his eyes at her. She found some and made them how she did at home and served Ren with a bowl.
"What do you think?" Jessica asked. Ren stirred the noodles around with his chopsticks, looking confused.
"Like my chef forgot to drain the water for my pasta."
"Just taste it." She glared at him. He rolled his eyes again.
"I still don't see how this soup is supposed to- Woah. That tastes amazing!" He started slurping up the noodles. Jessica chuckled at the way he looked before starting on her own.
"Can you make more?" Ren asked after finishing.
"Wow. Eager are we? Must've been your first time." She smirked.
"Didn't I say that to you during a first of yours?" Ren smirked.
"Oh, hey, you two. We thought everyone was already asleep." Ren's mother and father walked in as Ren blew his nose, groaning at the painful feeling of the tissue against his newly sensitive nose.
"We saw the light on. We thought a staff member may have forgotten." Ren's father added.
"I was actually saving your son from a horribly neglected pleasure, called ramen." His parents frowned at her.
"It's a snack? Hot soup with noodles?"
"You mean that commoners snack that causes your face to look bloated?" His mother asked. Jessica nodded.
"You want some? It's great." Ren offered.
"We'll skip at this time,