Title- Assisting the Heart

Disclaimer- I don't own CR or any of the characters. Well, except for the ones that I've made, those are all mine.

A/N- Okay. To all those of you who read this story between the last time I updated and now, I apologize for it having been so long of a wait. Things have gotten sorta nuts in my life, as well as the fact that I fell in love with other fandoms, and therefore, my muse was firmly attached to them. In any case, I've had this chapter done for quite awhile now and decided that it was nigh past time that it was posted. For all those of you who are new to this story, I hope that you enjoy it.

The next month passed by with relative ease. Mitchie began to get used to the boys' hectic schedules and performances every other night. The day after what had happened at the House of Blues, Mitchie returned back to the apartment that she and Todd shared only to find a bouquet of her favorite flowers and a note asking for forgiveness. It took awhile, but she did eventually forgive Todd for his behavior that night. As for Shane, Jason, and Nate, she knew that none of them much cared for her boyfriend, all things considered. He tried to avoid them and they him, as much as possible, except for one night when he came by to pick her up and they had a night off. The doorbell rang, causing Mitchie to jump up to answer it.

"Todd! What are you doing here?" she asked in surprise.

"Here to pick you up from work, doll. It's almost time for you to get off, isn't it?"

She nodded. "Yeah, it is, actually. Come on in."

"I don't think that that's a good idea," he said, causing her to roll her eyes in annoyance.

"Just come inside already. The guys are here at the house because they have a night off, but they're not evil or crazy or anything. They're not going to attack you or try to kill you," she assured him.

"Speak for yourself," Shane muttered as he came down the stairs dressed in a black shirt, pants, and shoes, along with a gold tie and white jacket.

"Where are you headed?" Mitchie asked.

"We, as in Jason, Nate, Ella, Caitlyn and myself, are going out to a club in L.A. to just hang out and dance. Is that okay?" he answered in a condescending tone.

She rolled her eyes. "I could care less what you do with your time off. Just behave and don't do anything stupid, all right?"

"Shane not do something stupid? That's asking a lot," Caitlyn quipped as she came downstairs in a short black dress and open toed heels. "You might want to quit staring, Todd. I don't think that everyone quite saw you doing it."

"No, thanks. Not interested," he retorted.

"That's good to hear," Nate replied as he came down with Ella and Jason behind him, all three dressed up for a night out. "Mitchie, do you want to come with us?"

"Thank you for inviting me, but I can't. Todd came here to pick me up so we could hang out tonight. Sorry, but maybe some other time?" she promised.

"Next time, then. Be careful," he told her before giving a small hug. Jason was right behind him and gave her a long hug that she gladly returned.

"Take care of everyone for me?" Mitchie asked him.

"No problem."

She hugged Ella and Caitlyn after that, seeing that Shane had left already. "Okay, let me just get my stuff and then I'll be ready to go. Give me just a few minutes, all right?"

"Yeah, sure. I'll be waiting."

A few minutes later, she returned with her work bag, PDA, and purse. "Let's go," she prompted as she walked to the front door, opening it for him. She followed him out before locking it behind her and going to her car. "Where are we going?"

"Back to the apartment. What do you think of ordering in and renting a movie?"

"Sounds great," she replied, getting in her car and following as he drove in front of her.

"Did you like the movie?" he asked as he climbed into bed, waiting as she got changed.

"Yeah, it was good, and so was dinner. Thank you," she said as slipped out of her work suit and hung it on the hanger before placing the clothing in a chair to go to the dry cleaners.

"You're welcome," he replied as he watched her get dressed into a pair of sweats and a tank top. She slipped under the covers next to him, giving him a kiss after doing so. He obligingly returned it before pulling away with a sigh.

"What's wrong?" she queried.

"I need to ask you something, and I hope you won't get mad at me."

"Okay. What is it?"

"Well, it's….it's just that you've been spending a lot of time over at the Connect 3 house. You usually don't get home until pretty late and then you leave early in the morning. I just…" he trailed off.

"What are you saying, that you think I'm cheating on you?" she accused as she sat up. When he didn't reply, her eyes narrowed in anger as she realized that that was what he thought was going on. "You do think I'm cheating on you with one of them! Oh, my god! I can't believe you, Todd!"

"See, I knew you would get mad! This is why I was so hesitant to say anything," he retorted.

"Of course I'm mad! You're making me out to sound like some kind of a slut or something. I didn't sleep with any of them to get this job, and I'm not sleeping with any of them now. In case you've forgotten, Nate and Jason are both taken, and they're like big brothers to me. They're dating Ella and Caitlyn, two of my best friends that you decided to openly ogle awhile back? And as for Shane, well, he and I don't get along the greatest. I won't say that we hate each other, but we barely tolerate each other as it is. So no, I'm not sleeping with any of them, and the fact that you would even think that pisses me off!" she snapped.

"I'm sorry, doll, I just had to ask. I'm sorry," he said quietly.

"There shouldn't have even been a question about it!" she growled before laying down and turning over so her back was to him. "Just shut up, don't say another word to me. Good night." Her silence after that told him that he'd messed up big time and that she was furious with him. He sighed and rolled over before falling into an uneasy sleep.

The next morning, her alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., just like she'd set it to do. She wiped the sleep from her eyes and got up to turn it off. She took her time taking a shower and getting ready to go to work but she knew that if she wanted to avoid Todd, she had to get out of the house before he was to wake up at 8:15. She showered, dressed, brushed her teeth, had blown her hair dry and straightened it, and put on a little bit of makeup just as her watch read eight a.m. She grabbed her things and her suit jacket before heading out the door.

She stopped at the Starbucks nearest to the boys' house on the way to grab coffee and croissants for herself and the trio that she worked for. She carefully made her way back to her car so she didn't spill anything, thankful that the attendant had given her a tray for the coffees. She got in her car and made sure that they wouldn't fall over or be jostled before heading to the house. Security waved her through immediately when she got there, and

she grabbed her things and the food and drinks before heading to the front door. She somehow managed to unlock the door and get inside without dropping anything. She set down the coffees and croissants in the kitchen before seeing that it was a quarter till 9, making her arrival an early one. She noticed that she hadn't been greeted by voices in the living room, as was normal. A frown made its' way on her face before she headed into the living room, only to find Jason sprawled out on the couch. Mitchie smiled and shook her head as she saw that he was still in his clothes from the previous night. She walked over to him and gently shook his shoulder, making him stir.

"Jason. Hey, wake up," Mitchie said softly.

Her friend groaned quietly and sighed in his sleep, his eyes opening long enough to see who it was before closing them again. "Hi, Mitchie. Morning. Can I go back to sleep now?"

"In just a second. What are you doing out here?"

"We got back late last night, and I wasn't going to make Ella go back to her place when it was so late anyhow, so I let her stay here in my room. I came down here to do something, and then before I knew it, I had passed out," he said with a yawn.

Mitchie giggled. "You fell asleep in your clothes from last night, too. You sure everything's okay?"

"Yep. I'm just still tired. Oh, there's something that you might want to know," he warned.

"Why do I get the feeling that I'm not going to like this?"

"You probably won't. While we were out, Shane hooked up with this girl and brought her back here to the house. I'm pretty sure that she stayed the night, judging from the noises I was hearing from one of the guest rooms," Jason informed her with a grimace.

Mitchie wrinkled her nose. "Thanks for the heads-up. You may want to go up to your room and get changed before you go back to sleep," she suggested softly.

Before he could reply, Shane came down the stairs dressed only in a pair of boxers. Every time she'd seen him until now, he'd always had a shirt of some sort on and had been fully clothed, making her completely unprepared to see him like this. She'd guessed that he was built well just from looking at him, but any expectations that she'd had were blown out of the water. It was almost as though someone had carved him from some sort of stone and then made him into human form. His lightly tanned shoulders weren't overly broad, just enough to be noticed, which lead to a lean body that made her realize he worked out to look like he did. 'Conceited jerk that he is, he probably does it just to attract attention.' To her, he was perfectly good eye candy, which she quickly reminded herself that she had no business staring at. He was not only one of the three people that she was working for, but she also had a boyfriend. She gave her head a quick shake, her cheeks flushed and making him smirk.

"See something you like, Ms. Torres?" he asked arrogantly with a touch of teasing.

"You couldn't have thrown some clothes on before coming down here?" she said with a sigh.

"Well, I could have, but then I remembered that this is my house and where I live, so I just decided to not care, and oddly enough, it seems like you do. I'm guessing that you must see something you like," he replied with a smirk.

"Maybe if you weren't my boss, if your head wasn't as big as it is, and you weren't such a jerk all the time, then maybe. How can I help you, Mr. Gray?" she asked sweetly, making Jason snicker at her response.

Shane closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "There's a girl upstairs in one of the guest rooms. I need you to see to it that her clothes are cleaned and that Matt takes her back to wherever she lives," he said, as though it was something he did every day.

"Excuse me?" she asked.

"You heard me. I don't recall any stuttering in what I just said," he snapped. "Did you pick up or make any coffee yet?"

"Yes, I did. It's in the kitchen, along with some croissants," she started, making him begin to make his way there. She quickly moved in front of him and put her hands up in front of herself, not expecting them to make contact with his bare chest. He stopped and looked down at her hands before looking at her with a renewed smirk on his face and a lifted eyebrow. She blushed slightly and moved her hands off of his chest. "Sorry, but I wasn't finished yet."

"What now?" he griped.

"Jason told me that you hooked up with someone and brought her back here, and you just confirmed it for me. Now, while what you did is none of my business, it is nowhere in my job description that I should have to take care of getting the girl that you had sex with out the door. I don't care who you sleep with, but showing them out the door is not my job, that's yours."

"Excuse me?" he replied in astonishment.

"You heard me. You can take your own trash out and show her to the road, because that is not my job. Once you've done that, then you can have your coffee," she said tightly before turning on her heel and marching back into the kitchen, passing by him a second later with four coffees and a plate of croissants in her possession.

Shane watched her with wide eyes and a slack jaw, a very large part of him wanting to pull her back to where he was standing so he could yell at her. He already knew that he couldn't fire her, because if he could, he'd have fired her the first time that she'd humiliated him, and so far, this was the third time that she had. 'No one humiliates me and gets away with it,' he thought with a snarl. Even so, he knew that he still had a problem upstairs to take care of, and he knew that there would be hell to pay before and after.

A few days subsequent to when she'd made Shane take care of sending the girl that he'd slept with home, noticing when he strode back inside and slammed the front door shut that he had a handprint on his face, she made it to the house just in time. She let herself in as normal, set her purse and bag near the door, thankful that she hadn't dropped the coffees in her hands. She could hear voices coming from the living room, so she followed the sound of them, finding Shane, Nate and Jason half asleep and sitting on the couches.

"Morning!" she called out happily.

"How can you be so cheery in the morning?" Jason groaned.

"Because it's either that or be grumpy, and since I'm pretty sure that you don't want to see me when I'm grumpy or cranky, I decided it was better to be a little happy. Coffee?" she asked as she held one out to him.

"Have I ever told you that I love it when you're cheerful in the morning?" Jason said with a sleepy smile as he took the proffered beverage.

"Yeah, you might, you suck up. Some of us are still trying to wake up over here," Shane snapped, stifling a yawn and watching as she handed Nate a coffee before coming over to him. "Can I have my coffee?"

"That depends. Are you gonna be nice and apologize to Jason for calling him a suck up?" she asked.

"You're joking, right?"

"Does it look like I'm joking?" she replied seriously, making his mouth drop open. He knew that if he wanted his coffee, he'd have to apologize, which was something he rarely did, if ever.

"You know, I could just go and get coffee myself," he said rudely.

"Yeah, you could, but why do that when you have some right here? Just tell him sorry and be done with it already," Nate snapped.

"Fine, s-sorry," he mumbled in a strained voice before turning to Mitchie. "Happy now?"

"Very. Here's your drink," she replied in a victorious tone as she handed him his hot beverage. He glared at her as he took it, not offering a thank you in way or form.

"So what's on our schedule for today?" Jason asked, ready for a different subject.

"Let's see," Mitchie responded as she left quickly before returning with her hand held schedule. "It looks like you three are mostly going to be stuck in the studio today. Your night is free because you could be recording for who knows how long. You guys have to get moving soon. Matt's going to be here to pick you up by ten at the latest," she informed them, looking up when they groaned. "What is it? What's wrong?"

"I forgot that we were going to be mostly in the studio today. That's just gonna be so much fun," Nate said sarcastically with a wrinkled nose.

"What do you mean? I thought you three loved making music," she responded.

"We do. We just don't care for the sound that the label's had us singing since we started and we want to change it," Shane sighed with a grimace.

"Have you tried speaking to the label about it, maybe coming up with a demo of what you actually want to try playing?" she suggested.

"We talked to the label already. They said that we have to all be "on good behavior", whatever that means. I'm pretty sure that they're referring to Shane, though," Nate informed her.

"Gee, thanks," Shane retorted.

"You're welcome," Nate shot back.

"All right, fine. What about a demo?" she repeated.

"We haven't bothered. The label hasn't given us any indication that they'd like to see what we'd like for our sound to be, so we haven't put anything together."

"Okay. Since you don't know when they may tell you that they'll let you change your sound, you might want to put a demo together just so you have it, then work on changing the behavior. The best way to start is to be on time," she reminded them, all three letting out groans as they stood up. Nate and Jason headed up the stairs, but Shane stayed back, waiting until they were out of earshot.

"I need you to clean my car," he said simply.


"I need you to clean my car," he repeated, speaking more slowly. "And I need it done before I get back from the studio."

"Why can't you do it yourself?" she huffed.

"Because I'm going to be working all day. Besides that, that's not something that I do, anyhow. Look, just get it done. I don't have any time to argue with you," he snapped before walking away from her.

She sighed and shook her head, deciding to do what he wanted as she knew he was right. He wouldn't have any time to clean his car, so she couldn't tell him to do it himself. She knew that he and his band mates were going to be very busy over the next several days, making her head up to the office to check e-mails and send replies out. She heard the three males bustling around, all trying to get ready before they had to leave. She heard the doorbell go off and Nate yell that he was answering it before he yelled for Jason and Shane. The door slammed behind them a moment later, making her sigh in relief. Before she could relax too much, her PDA ringtone went off, signaling that she had a text message.

Don't forget to clean the inside, too. Let me know when you get done. –S

She groaned and shook her head, wondering how she wasn't crazy. She looked down at her attire and wrinkled her nose, knowing that she'd have to grab a change of clothes or risk getting the ones that she had on wet. Quickly making a decision, she headed down the stairs in search of the items that she needed in order to accomplish her task.

Over the next week as the band was in the studio or attending events, Shane managed to keep her busy. Every day, he had something for her to do, and if it wasn't done just as he wanted it, then he messed it up and made her start all over again. While she knew she could have said something to Nate about it, she knew that he was busy, not to mention that she refused to let Shane win. She had a suspicion that he was doing all this to test her, and she was not going to stand back and let him win. Add in the fact that she also didn't want to let Nate or Jason down, and she was ready to lose it.

"Okay, I need you to drop off and pick up my dry cleaning, it's all upstairs. I also need my laundry cleaned, sorted and folded properly. Oh, and I'll also need you to make coffee runs for me and bring it to the studio. You do know how to get there right?"

"Yes, I do. And I just did your dry cleaning and laundry within the last week. You're telling me that you managed to wear that much clothes in that short a time?" she snapped.

"Yeah. I don't even know how it happened, but it did, so I need you to clean it and make sure that everything is put away," he replied smoothly, checking his hair in a mirror.

"It's fine, all right? Just get out of here," she told him through gritted teeth, making him roll his eyes and walk out the door, a sigh escaping her lips once she was finally alone. The worst part about him giving her all of these tasks was that she had only a little bit of time to answer phone calls, take care of e-mails and organize their schedule. She quickly went over everything that she had to do in her head, heading up the stairs to begin work for the day.

That night, once she made it back to her apartment at a late hour, she quickly got ready for bed and promptly passed out the moment her head hit the pillow. Around 1 in the morning, her PDA began vibrating. Shane had texted her, telling her what kind of coffee he wanted. A half hour after that, another text came, telling her that his clothes had been dry cleaned improperly. She was eventually forced to turn her phone off after she sporadically received 6 more messages in order to get some sleep for the day that she knew was coming. She knew he was testing her, and she'd hoped that he would let up, but it didn't seem like that would be possible.

She got up that morning before Todd, even though she'd overslept a little. She quickly got dressed and did her best to hide the circles that were under her eyes with makeup, a very small part of her tempted to not go in to work that day. 'You could do that, but then that would mean he would win,' a little voice told her, making her sigh. Rather than get back into bed like she wanted to, she went to the house but not before she stopped and picked up coffee for herself and the three guys that she worked for. No sooner had she walked in the door and put her things down, she received a text from Shane, reminding her about the list of things that he needed done, along with an extra chore of having to go shopping and telling her that a list had to be made. She rolled her shoulders and took a deep breath before heading into the kitchen, intending to make it through the day without losing her cool. She knew that she could tell Nate what was going on at any time, but she still refused. If he wasn't going to let up, neither was she.

She didn't know how, but she managed to make it through the day. Just as she had expected, he continued to text her all day, reminding her of the things she had to do or to tell her that he needed coffee, which happened every two to six hours like clockwork. Every time that she managed to finish a task and get ready to sit down and relax, she'd get another text, telling her that he needed this or that and making her come close to turning her phone off. He'd had her running all over town and by the end of the day, the only thing she wanted to do was just go home and crash in bed. Unfortunately, the moment she laid down, her PDA started going off again, making her shake her head and wishing that it would stop. She picked it up and turned the volume down as low as it could go, hitting the ignore button for the text. Thirty minutes later, she got three more text messages from Shane, all with reminders of things that he needed the next day. She sighed and didn't reply to any, deciding that she would talk to him when she went in to work, quickly turning it on silent and turning it over so if anything came in, she wouldn't see the light from it. She closed her eyes and willed her body to relax so she could get some sleep, seeing that it was just after 11 p.m. Just as she began to drift off, the noise of a baby crying traveled through the wall from the apartment next to theirs.

"This is so not what I need right now. Come on, little guy, please be quiet. Ms. Mitchie has to work for a guy that's really evil and mean," she pleaded to no one in particular, knowing that the infant couldn't hear her and even if he could, asking a crying baby to stop doing so was useless.

There was nothing she could do to stop it, but she knew she wasn't going to be able to get to sleep anytime soon. Mitchie tossed and turned in the bed for two hours, although she feigned sleep when she heard Todd come in after he'd gone out to be with some of his friends. He smelled of cigarettes and alcohol, and she could have sworn she smelled a woman's perfume or body spray. Instead of asking him why he smelled like that, she closed her eyes again and managed to fall asleep, noticing before she did so that the crying had stopped. Her dreams were plagued by memories of the confrontations that she'd shared with Shane, and nightmares of him asking her to do hundreds of tasks and complete them all in one day. She slept fitfully, the nightmares waking her up throughout the night and making it hard for her to fall asleep again.

The next morning, she opened her eyes blearily and stretched, glancing at her alarm clock. She gasped and sat up in shock, remembering that she'd forgotten to turn it on the night before and realizing that it was just after 8 and that she had less than an hour to get ready and be on time. She thanked her lucky stars that she had taken a shower the night before as she quickly grabbed a pair of slacks, a polo shirt and some sandals, throwing them on as fast as she could. She quickly brushed her hair and was very thankful that even though she'd been exhausted the previous night and still was, she had dried and brushed her hair before climbing into bed. "Which sounds like a very good idea right now," she mumbled to herself before shaking her head. She wasn't sick, and even though the idea of saying she couldn't come in sounded pleasing, she knew she couldn't lie and she'd feel like she was letting Jason and Nate down. She quickly brushed her teeth and tossed her makeup into her purse, deciding that she could put that on once she got to the Connect 3 house. She glanced at the clock and saw that she wouldn't have time to grab coffee; she'd have to make it once she got there. Her purse, workbag, and keys were retrieved, along with a casual jacket and her PDA. "You've got to be kidding me," she muttered to herself as she walked quickly to her car, seeing that she'd gotten fifteen more texts from Shane. Pursing her lips and steeling herself, she opened her car and got in, getting on the road as quickly as possible. To her surprise, she managed to make it to her destination just as it was 9 a.m., even after stopping to get clearance from security. She grabbed her things and entered the house, shutting the door behind her and locking it just as the device in her jacket pocket began to beep. Her purse and bag were placed on the table as they always were, the beeping finally stopping and causing her to breathe a sigh of relief. She entered the large kitchen and walked straight to the cupboard where the materials necessary for making coffee were, pulling out the sugar, some filters, and a container of coffee grounds. She managed to get the coffee started and the timer for it set when her PDA went off once more, chiming merrily and making her wish that it would spontaneously combust. "At least then it'd be awhile before the jerk could bother me," she muttered, picking it up to look at the text.

Don't forget to cook some bagels this morning. And don't forget to cool my coffee down either.

She exhaled sharply, and rather than doing as the text had said, she placed the device on the counter and left it there, not caring if she received any more texts or calls for the moment. She knew she had to calm herself down before she snapped. Blinking back tears and taking a deep breath, she quickly made her way up the stairs and walked into one of the guest bathrooms, shutting the door behind her with a quiet snap and only then did she allow herself to succumb to her emotions.

Jason awoke to the smell of coffee and smiled sleepily as he stretched. Rubbing the fatigue from his eyes, he got out of bed and showered before straightening his hair and getting dressed for the day. He bounded down the stairs, expecting to see Mitchie sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee for him, but to his surprise, he only found a finished pot and her PDA, laying on the counter.

"Why is this in here? It's not like her to leave it lying around," he mused aloud. He picked it up and hit a button, making the text message reappear. He quickly read it and was confused, wondering why Shane was texting Mitchie about what to make for breakfast. He grabbed a mug and poured his coffee, making it as he desired. After a few minutes when Mitchie didn't come into the kitchen, Jason started to get worried. He got up from the table and began looking for her, starting with downstairs and working his way to the second floor. "She's not outside, or the garage, the studio, the living room; where is she?" he muttered. "There's only so many places she could be." He ascended the stairs and before he could get very far, he heard a sniffling from one of the bathrooms. Confused as to why she would be in there, he knocked on the door.

"I-I'm fine. I'll be out in a minute," came the shaky reply, making him frown.

"Mitchie? It's me, Jason. Can I come in?" he asked gently.

"Yeah, su-sure," she replied. He turned the knob and pushed on the door, walking into the bathroom. He quickly shut the door behind him before looking at her. "Are you okay?" He knew that she wasn't, but needed to ask. She was currently sitting on the floor of the bathroom, hugging her knees to her chest and looking as though she'd possibly been crying.

"Y-yeah, I'll be fine. I just need a few minutes, that's all," she told him, blinking multiple times.

"I saw the text from Shane on your phone. Is that why you're up here?" he inquired, getting down next to her.

"No!" she quickly denied. "Oh, no. You saw all the texts from him?"

"Texts? As in more than one? Mitchie, has he been texting you all the time, telling you to do stuff for him? And don't you dare lie to me," he told her firmly, hearing a door nearby slam shut.

She hesitated before nodding reluctantly. "He's had me doing all sorts of stuff for him; doing his laundry, cleaning his car, making coffee runs. You remember how I kept coming to the studio?"

"Yeah, but that's beside the point. You look like you're about ready to pass out," Jason said softly.

"I didn't get much sleep last night. There was a baby crying in the apartment next door. And then the night before that…" she trailed off, taking a shuddering breath.

"You mean to tell me that he kept you awake all night with freaking text messages of crap that he needed done?" Jason replied angrily.

She nodded. "I eventually had to turn the phone off because it was starting to drive me crazy. So I didn't get much sleep, and then I got all of the texts the next morning, but I didn't want to tell you or Nate because I didn't want to let either of you down, so I just did whatever he wanted me to the whole time. Not to mention that I've gotten barely enough sleep in the last two nights because of everything," she babbled.

"Mitchie, calm down for me, okay?" he asked as he pulled her into his arms for a hug. She let him pull her into his arms as he hugged her, calming down a little.

"I just need a few minutes, please?" she requested.

"No, no. It's fine. Let me go and make you some coffee while you stay in here for a bit?" he suggested.

"Coffee would be great," she said with an uneven breath.

"Okay. I'll be back in a few minutes," he informed her as he carefully pulled away from her and stood up, leaving the bathroom and shutting the door behind him. Sounds from the kitchen alerted his earlier suspicions that Shane was already awake and had been for some time. He gritted his teeth angrily as he remembered the sight of finding one of his best and emotionally strongest friends, crying her eyes out and curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor. He quietly walked down the stairs and into the kitchen, seeing his friend making bagels.

"She made coffee, but she didn't make anything to go with it. It's not that hard to remember," Shane spoke aloud to Jason, not knowing that the latter was very upset.

Before he could gripe about anything else, Jason had grabbed Shane by the shoulders, whipped him around, and slammed him into the wall next to them. "What the hell is your problem?" Shane yelled, shocked that his friend was acting this way. Jason rarely ever got angry, and if he ever did, he didn't usually resort to violence.

"What's my problem?" Jason asked incredulously. "I think that's the last thing you should be worried about right now. What's your problem?"

"Well, our oh-so-lovely PA didn't happen to make anything to go with our coffee, so I didn't like having to do it," Shane replied snottily, not knowing what Jason meant.

"Like I care about your damn stomach! What the hell did you do to her?" Jason snarled, his fists bunched up in Shane's t-shirt.

"Okay, you've lost me. What are you talking about?" Shane inquired confusedly.

"I'm talking about Mitchie. Don't even try to tell me that you didn't do anything to her. She's in one of the guest bathrooms, about ready to have a breakdown. So I'm gonna ask you one more time before I kick your ass: WHAT did you do to her?" Jason snarled, becoming angrier by the second.

"I didn't do anything to her," Shane said pointedly. "All I did was tell her what I wanted done. It's not my fault that she can't handle it. She's supposed to be our PA, she's been assisting me with what I need."

"Really? So you're trying to tell me that she's in the bathroom, crying for absolutely no reason at all? I don't believe that. What did you do, ask her to do so much crap on top of what she normally has to do for the band?" Jason growled.

"No," Shane said quickly. "Like I told you, I just had her do some necessary things that have to be done."

"Oh yeah, like what?" Jason asked with a roll of his eyes.

"Oh nothing much, coffee runs, cleaning my car, laundry..."

"You did what? Shane, Nate and I didn't hire her to be your personal maid. You're an adult, and you're capable of taking care of your own laundry and cleaning your car. As for your coffee runs, I did see that. If you want coffee, then you get it yourself. It's one thing to have her get us some in the morning, it's completely different to have her getting it for you all the time when you're capable of doing so," Jason snapped.

"It is not," Shane scoffed. "She's our assistant. It's her job to have us running smoothly. I require coffee to make me run smoothly. And again, not my fault she can't handle being our PA. Maybe she needs to just quit already."

"No, she doesn't need to quit being our PA, because she can handle it. You, on the other hand, need to quit being such an asshole toward her and apologize for how you've been treating her," Jason huffed angrily.

"Excuse me? You're joking, right?" Shane said.

"No, I'm not joking," Jason told him heatedly. "She's in the guest bathroom right now about to have a mental breakdown, that's not a joke. And you're the cause of it. So you're going to make things right."

"And how do you propose that I do that? One, I don't really do apologies. Two, she hates me. Three, she pisses me off incredibly easily!"

"Then I guess you'll have to learn how to apologize and pretty damn fast, won't you? I have no problem with getting Nate or Caitlyn down here, if need be," Jason threatened.

"Like that's supposed to scare me? Honestly, what could they do?" Shane snapped.

"Well, Caitlyn would threaten key parts of your male anatomy...and Nate would help her," Jason said with shrug. "So you either risk your privates or go apologize."


"I don't care how, just do it!"

"So what? Just ap-apologize to her and that's it?"

"Actually, no. Once you get done with that, I want you to take her somewhere that's not here and get to know her," Jason replied with a sardonic smile.

"Have you lost your mind?" Shane asked with a shake of his head.

"No, I haven't lost my mind," Jason growled as he let Shane free of his grasp. "I think you need to get to know her because you don't see her like the rest of us do. So apologize, take her somewhere and get to know her. I don't care where, just make it reasonably nice. Maybe take her to get ice cream or something...she likes ice cream."

"I don't really have much of a choice, do I?" Shane replied warily.

"Not really, not unless you actually want Nate and I kicking your ass, or for Caitlyn to take off your privates and Nate to help her," Jason retorted.

Shane groaned and let his head fall back, already knowing what he had to do and not wanting to do it. "Which one is she in?"

"Across the hall from your room, actually. And be nice!" Jason hissed.

Shane glared at Jason as he stomped past him and headed towards the bathroom. He knew he had to do this because Jason would most likely be listening in and he was in no way going to risk his private parts because of a PA. Finding the bathroom in question, he sighed and knocked on the door ever so slightly and edged it open. "Torres?"

He heard a sharp exhale of breath, followed by "What the hell do you want?" she snapped, making him open the door and come into the bathroom, seeing what Jason meant. She was sitting on the floor, hugging her knees and looking like she was about ready to cry. "Did I say you could come in?" she said tersely as the door shut behind him.

"No but it's my house so I can really do whatever I want to," he told her pointedly as he leaned against the sink.

"Oh whatever, why the hell are you even in here with me? Do you want me to do more crap for you?" she asked, her voice wavering just slightly. "Or do you want to tell me what hell I'll be going through tomorrow?"

Before he could reply, she began to cry. "You know what? At this point, I don't even give a damn. I've gotten so little sleep between the past two days, and I know that you don't care right now. Just leave me alone," she cried, wiping furiously at her eyes, her breathing uneven and the tears falling fast.

Shane froze at that moment. He'd really never had to deal with crying, sobbing girls, not in this capacity anyway. He'd had to comfort his sisters when they'd dated assholes who eventually broke their hearts or the other way around, but this was somewhat out of his league. He honestly didn't know what to do right now. "Ummmm...could you..umm..don't cry..."

"Shane, I just asked you to leave me alone, please!" she repeated, the tears still falling.

"And yet, I'm still here. Look, this is...I don't...I came here to say... I'm s-s-sorry," he stumbled, not used to apologizing and having to deal with crying girls.

"W-what?" Mitchie asked as she attempted to calm herself down.

"You heard me," Shane said pointedly. "I don't want to say it again."

"Sorry. I'm just trying to get over the shock of hearing you of all people say that. Now will you answer my question?" she inquired as she looked for some tissues to dry her eyes with.

"Told you, it's my house, therefore it's my bathroom. Give me some time to get dressed and then we're leaving," he replied.

"What?" she asked him as she wiped her cheeks.

"You heard me. I said we're leaving once I get dressed."

"Why would I go anywhere with you?"she asked as she managed to stand up and look at him.

"Because I said so. It's not like I'm not going to go and kidnap you or something."

"Mr. Gray, I have work to do and I can't afford to be off doing God only knows what with you. Not to mention that you'll probably give me more crap to do," she sighed as she looked at her reflection in the mirror.

"Then consider this me making it up to you. And forget about that other stuff," he replied as he opened the door.

"I can't forget about it. I've been so busy with your orders that I haven't had time for the band. I have to do my job," she told him pointedly.

"Worry about it later Torres, we're going somewhere, and you have no say in the matter."

"And if I don't want to?" she retorted.

"Look, I'm not going to hurt you in any way. Just give me about fifteen minutes to get ready, okay? I've been told to give you a bit of a break and that you like ice cream," he replied with a knowing smirk, seeing her brighten a little.

"But what about getting recognized?" she asked him and he smirked.

"That's why I'm getting ready. Now is that a yes?"

"I guess so. I don't have a choice right?"

"Not really," he told her. "Fifteen minutes. Downstairs."

"Yes, Master Shane," she replied sarcastically, making him grin.

"Master Shane, I could get used to hearing that," he said, holding his hands up in surrender when she glared. "Just messing with you, Torres. I'll be down in a bit. Feel free to do what you want till then, but be ready."

"Are we taking a driver or is one of us driving?"

"I will. Just go," he told her as he opened the door and headed to his room.

Mitchie took a breath and attempted to make herself presentable again. After she was sure her face looked alright again, she walked downstairs and settled herself on the couch. She was going to answer some emails but she found that the very second she sat down, her eyes hadn't wanted to stay open. A short while later, Shane came down the stairs, dressed in blue jeans, a blue shirt, some sneakers, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses in hand. "Torres, where are you?" he called out, looking all over and finally seeing her asleep on the couch. He shook his head to himself, remembering that she'd told him she was extremely tired from a lack of sleep. Something that was his fault, his conscience reminded him. He walked closer to her, sitting on the coffee table. "Hey, Torres, time to wake up," he said, tapping her gently. When he didn't respond, his voice rose slightly. "Wake up, Sleeping Beauty," he teased, shaking her a little.

She groaned at the movement and attempted to get away from it but found it getting more and more pronounced. Begrudgingly, she opened her eyes and glared at Shane. "I was sleeping," she told him pointedly.

"I saw that and now you're not. Get up, we're leaving."

"You really suck right now," she moaned as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.

"Yeah, I know, but you'll get used to it," he replied, watching as she stood and retrieved their coffees, handing one to him.

"So where are we going?" she asked, trying to stifle a yawn.

"Out for ice cream," he told her.

"But it's only ten in the morning," she said as she followed him to the garage.

"So?" he asked. "There is never a wrong time for ice cream and I know a good place that serves it whenever."

"And what about being recognized?" she asked him. "I don't want to end up on a tabloid cover saying we're dating."

"What the sunglasses are for. Now stop making excuses," he told her as he stepped into the car and sat down.

"You're starting to scare me now. Why are you being so nice to me?" she wondered aloud as she got in the car.

"Would you prefer me going back to how I was being?"

"Good point," she said.

"Just relax, all right? Where we're headed, it's sort of a hole in the wall kind of place, but the ice cream is amazing, and they're open practically 24/7," he replied, backing out of the driveway before hitting the gas and making her remember her seat belt.

"Do you always speed?" she asked as she buckled up and he just laughed.

"Yes. I drive like a maniac but I'm ok with that," he told her. "Why go slow when this baby was meant for speed?"

"Let me guess. You've probably gotten hundreds of tickets," she replied sarcastically.

"Not really. I've only gotten two before. One just after I got my license for not stopping completely at a stop sign and the other was for running a red light, and shockingly enough, I got them both in other cars," he informed her, making her shake her head.

"So should I just jump out now then?" she asked with a smile.

"No, not unless you want to cause yourself pain," he told her. "At the rate I'm driving you will. But let me guess…you drive like a grandma, one of those people that always stays in the slow lane right?"

"Ha ha ha," she snarked. "I don't drive overly slow, but I don't go insanely fast like you are now. I don't have an Aston Martin convertible that's practically made for speeding, unlike yourself. I've had my car for a couple of years now, and it's fine. You're not the only one who's ever gotten a ticket, you know," she informed him, making his mouth drop open in mocking shock.

"Oh really?" he asked. "And what was this ticket about? Parking? A moving violation?"

"No! It was for speeding… I may have been going a little faster than needed and a cop may have decided to pull me over and then I ended up with a ticket."

"A little faster? This I have to hear. How much?" he asked, a grin on his face.

"About 20 over the speed limit, I think," she told him, her cheeks a dark red.

"Wow, there's something I never expected to hear you telling me. And you were just chiding me for going too fast," he said, tsking at her.

"Yes, because I don't want you getting a ticket or getting arrested. We would be in the tabloids then, and personally, I look horrible in orange," she retorted.

"Point taken," he told her, but still kept his speed up. "But we're almost there so you can calm down. We'll be fine," he said, trying to calm her as he slowed down just a bit.

"Where is here?" she asked, glancing around.

He shook his head and chuckled. "You have to know everything, don't you?"

"No, I'm just curious," she replied.

"It's only a little bit farther. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I prefer to go there for the ice cream," he informed her with a sly grin.

"Good ice cream?" she asked curiously and he nodded.

"Some of the best in the city, in my opinion. And not many people know about it so fans don't stalk me."

"Which I'm sure you're insanely happy about, unless you want me to tell all of your fans about it," she teased with a grin.

"Please don't. And I don't say please very often," he nearly begged. "It's one of the few places that I can go to and not have to worry about being swarmed by crazy fangirls."

"Fine," she told him. "I'll be nice about this one time, but that ice cream had better be as good as you're saying," she threatened and he breathed a sigh of relief.

"It is, I promise."

"I'll be the judge of that, thank you," she retorted as he pulled into a parking lot and parked. She got out of the car and looked around, seeing that it was a bit of a hole in the wall place, as he'd said, but that it looked quaint.

"You coming?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Lead the way," she said with a gesture and he gladly did so and she followed. "So how long have you been coming here?" she asked nonchalantly.

"Awhile. When we first moved out here, the guys and I discovered this place but it's been some time since I've been here."

"Thank you for bringing me here, then," she told him softly.

He nodded in return before holding the door open behind him for her to come in. "Shane! What a surprise! What are you doing here?" an older woman whose nametag read Karen asked.

"Making amends," he told the older woman. "And showing someone who doesn't know about the greatness that is your ice cream. Think you can hook us up?"

"What flavor do you two want?" she replied.

"Is vanilla okay?" he asked Mitchie, making her nod.

"Vanilla's great," she told Karen.

"With all the fixings on a plate?" he requested.

"Sure thing. Take a seat at that table and I'll be back in a bit," she said as he nodded and smiled.

"So how did you find this place?" Mitchie asked.

"Randomly wandering around on a rare day off," he told her as they both took a seat at a nearby table. "We decided to explore, and then find this place," he explained. "Fell in love with it because it was so secluded and because of Karen. She owns the place and makes amazing food and sundaes."

"So why haven't you been here in awhile? She seems great, and it's kinda cozy here, makes me feel like I'm at home," she said wistfully.

"I'd love to come here more often, but as we both know, my schedule has been packed lately," he reminded her.

"Yeah, I think we both remember that," she grimaced, making him nod.

"Look, I...think we kinda sorta got off on the wrong foot. Do...do you think we could maybe...you know, start over?" he suggested tentatively.

Mitchie squirmed in her seat a little and licked her lips, not sure of what to say. She wanted to be careful with what she told him. "We weren't friends, Shane, so we can't start over there. We can, however, start over as boss and employee, and maybe, from there move onto becoming friends. I'm not a completely horrible person, once you get to know me," she replied carefully, a smile on her lips.

"Ok, sounds reasonable," he told her slowly. "So tell me about yourself. Convince me that you're not as you say it, completely horrible."

"What do you want to know?"

"We could play 20 questions instead, if you want," he replied with a grin.

"No, thank you. Something tells me that you would ask me anything and everything," she said knowingly.

"I'm hurt," he responded sarcastically, holding a hand over his heart as though she'd wounded him.

"Which means I'm right," she told him cheekily.

"Whatever," he told her with a smirk. "I still think we should play it, what are you…afraid?"

"You did not just say that. Fine, you're on, pop star, but with one condition: we both get to veto one question. Deal?" she asked, holding her hand out to him but she had to pull it back when Karen returned.

"Here we are, two vanilla ice creams with all the fixings on the side, along with two waters. Anything else I can get you two?"

"Nope, that's all. Thanks Karen," Shane said as the older woman just nodded.

"You know where to find me if you need anything," she told him as she walked off and left them alone.

"Now what were you saying?" Shane asked as he reached for a spoon.

"We both get to veto on one question, so we don't have to answer, but only one. Deal?" she repeated, holding out one hand and grabbing a spoon with her right.

"Deal," he conceded as he shook on it. "I get to start though," he told her quickly and she rolled her eyes.

"Fine, go," she told him.

"Full name."

"Michelle Laura Torres. My turn...favorite place that you love to go to?" she asked.

"Wow...I've been to so many. I'd have to say it's a toss between Paris and Japan," he replied, pouring sprinkles onto his ice cream.

"Really?" She asked. "Why Japan? I mean Paris I can see but Japan? What makes it appealing?" she asked and he just grinned.

"Isn't it my turn to ask you a question?"

"Hmph, fine."

"Favorite color?"

"Red," she answered, making his eyebrows raise. "What is it?" she asked.

"I didn't figure you for liking red, that's all."

"There's a lot you don't know about me, Mr. Gray. So what makes Japan so appealing?" she repeated with a smile.

"I just like it there. It's fast paced," he told her. "I like life being fast and being there is just out of this world. It's a fun time."

"Hmmm, makes sense," she told him. "Alright…favorite band?" he asked.

"You're evil."

"Yeah I know, and don't avoid the question. Favorite band?"

"I love Paramore, and no, I'm not sucking up, but Connect 3," she added with a blush.

"You're kidding!"

"Nope. My best friend Sierra let me borrow a CD of hers that was one of your first albums, and I was kinda hooked from the start," she replied with a blush.

"You don't strike me as a person who would like us, though," he teased.

"Gee, thanks," she retorted as she took a bite of her ice cream.

"Well the types of girls who usually like us are…well...teeny boppers," he told her. "Or crazed and obsessed and you don't seem like that either. Unless you tricked Nate into hiring you so you could stalk us."

"Oh, believe me, pictures of you three are already on the internet," she said, making him frown and glare at her. "Okay, bad joke. I wouldn't do that to you guys. I know you probably want a little bit of normal in with all the crazy. I just liked you guys. Your music was pretty infectious. My turn. How many siblings do you have?"

"I have 3. Two sisters, one that's a little older than I am, one that's younger, and then a brother that's younger. Why did you move to LA and did your parents approve?"

She sighed. "I moved here to go to college at UCLA and get a degree in music. As for my parents, they've been really supportive of me and what I want to do."

"Which is?" he prodded.

"Sorry, that's two questions, and it's my turn," she said triumphantly. "Have you always lived in California?"

"Actually, no. I was born in New Hampshire, raised in Maryland. I moved out here just shortly after we got the deal with the record label," he replied with a sad smile.

"And yet, somehow it doesn't sound like the fairy tale ending you were hoping for," she said.

"I don't do fairy tales, but if I did, you're right. I miss my family, so it's hard, not having them here. My dad wasn't a hundred percent supportive of me coming out here, but my mom was, and so was her brother, my Uncle Brown, who's in charge of and runs Camp Rock."

"I'm sorry to hear that your dad wasn't as supportive as you needed him to be."

"Don't be, it's not your fault. I think, in a way, he didn't want me to have come all the way out here for nothing, that he didn't want me to fail," he said quietly, not meeting her eyes.

"You proved him wrong, though. You and Nate and Jason didn't fail. You've had two albums debut on the charts at number one, and you're working on your third. I'm sure he's proud of you," she told him.

"Yeah. Anyhow, my turn. You said that you went to college to get your degree in music, but why did you go to college for that?"

Mitchie bit her lip, feeling very uncertain as to whether or not she wanted to tell him the real reason why. She'd gone there to get a degree in music and to pursue a singing career, and while the questions had started getting more intense, she wasn't exactly ready to tell him that yet. "I love music, and everything about it. The beat, the tempo, how easy it is to get yourself lost in it at times. I wanted to have a career in the music industry in pretty much any part of it, so I figured that getting a degree would be the best place to start."

"Which explains why you're doing the internship with us," he spoke.

She nodded. "Yep. I wanted to have some experience while I was still in college before I actually graduated, so I figured that an internship was my best shot. Never in a million years did I actually think that I'd wind up being Connect 3's PA, but I love doing it."

"I'm surprised that you do, all things considered," he sighed ruefully, taking a bite of his ice cream.

"I never hated it, and I don't think I ever will. It's by far one of the more stressful jobs I've ever had, don't get me wrong, but I love it. I get experience and at the same time, I have a great job. It's my turn. Hmmm," she said as she thought about what to ask. "Why are you such a jerk all the time?"

Shane's head snapped up in surprise. "What?"

"Why do you act the way you do? Why are you a jerk so much?"

He swallowed his ice cream before taking a few sips of his water and shaking his head. "Try again. I'm passing on that one," he said softly, a far off look in his eyes.

She bit her lip, part of her wanting to press on, but a larger part telling her to let it go. There was a bit of a story behind that answer, she thought, and it was best to leave it be for the moment. "Sorry," she mumbled, watching him nod in reply. "Name a guilty pleasure that you have."

His cheeks flushed bright red with color, showing that he was clearly embarrassed. "There's no chance I can pass on this one too, is there?"

"Nope. Don't worry, what's said here stays between us," she promised.

"When I have the time, I like to watch cooking shows," he muttered quietly, hoping she wouldn't hear.

Her eyebrows rose up in shock. "You're kidding me!" she replied.

"No, why?" he asked, lifting his head to meet her gaze.

"Because my mom owns a catering business, Connie's Catering. I didn't actually peg you as one to watch cooking shows. So, can you cook?"

"I'm not half bad. Don't ask Jason to ever cook for you, though," he told her with a shudder.

"That doesn't sound good."

"He ended up burning macaroni and cheese that he cooked in the microwave because he cooked it for way too long," Shane deadpanned. "We were lucky the house didn't burn to the ground."

"Shane, that's horrible!"

"Sorry, but it's the truth. The smoke detectors went off like crazy, and I'm pretty sure that the macaroni would have caught on fire if it had been in there much longer."

Images flooded her mind, making it hard for her to not laugh. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be laughing about it."

"Nah, it's fine, go ahead. We laugh about it all the time. That was one of the first things that I learned about Jason and Nate, along with a lot more."

"I'll have to remember not let him cook for me, then. I really don't want to have to put out a fire," she said with a smile.

"Believe me, Nate and I both banned Jason from doing any cooking ever in the kitchen," Shane replied with a grin before taking a last bite of his ice cream. "I'm ready to leave when you are."

Mitchie sighed, glancing at her watch and grabbing her purse. "We need to get going, but I want to finish the ice cream."

"So finish."

"But I have work to do," Mitchie protested.

"And I told you, don't worry about it. The world isn't going to come crashing down on us just because you didn't finish figuring out our schedules or send out e-mails. Jason knows that you're with me, and therefore, safe," Shane assured her.

"Okay, but I still need to finish soon. I know you three have a press conference today, and then an interview as well," she told him, as she took a bite of her melting concoction.

"And you say you need to work," he retorted with an eye roll.

"I do! While I might know your schedule for today, that doesn't mean that everything else is done or perfect, and that's the way that I prefer for things to be."

Shane shook his head as he watched her finish her treat. They had both revealed things about themselves that were personal, causing him to see her in a different light. Before, he had seen her as overbearing, rude, snotty, and a bitch. Now that he'd taken the time to get to know her as a person and not someone who was working for him, he saw that he could at the very least tolerate her. Liking her as a friend was not in the equation at the moment. He realized that she most likely only behaved how she had around him was because she had to, not to mention his personal treatment of her.

"Hey, anyone home?" she teased with a slight smile as she set her spoon in the bowl, meaning that she was done.

"Yeah, sorry. I was just thinking about some different things."

"Uh oh. Should I be worried?" she asked in a mock scared voice.

"Ha ha. No, you don't have to be. How was the ice cream?"

"It was good. Great, in fact."

"See? I told you!" he exclaimed triumphantly.

"But nothing beats Ben and Jerry's ice cream," she replied with a grin.

"Are you kidding? This is so much better than that!" he shot back.

She grabbed her purse before standing up. "No offense, but you, being a guy, would say that. Guys generally don't consume large amounts of ice cream after they've broken up from a relationship."

"Shows what you know," he told her as he stood up. "My brother ends up getting a pint and eating it all by himself after he breaks up with a girl or the other way around. It's kinda pathetic."

"I'm sure he'd love to hear that," Mitchie said dryly.

"It's the truth, unfortunately. And there's no stopping him from doing it either. I made the mistake of trying one time, and it wasn't pretty," Shane shuddered.

"Oh? Do tell."

"No thanks, that one's going to remain firmly in my head," he replied as they reached the podium.

"Hey, you two! Did you have a good time?" Karen asked as she walked up.

"Yes, I did. Thank you so much," Mitchie told her with a smile.

"It's no problem, dear. You feel free to come back here anytime you want, all right?"

"Okay, thank you," Mitchie replied with a blush.

"Here you go, Karen. Thanks for the ice cream, and keep the change," Shane told the older woman, handing her a fifty dollar bill and noticing that she rolled her eyes.

"I've told you before, you don't need to pay me so much," she sighed.

"I feel like I owe you when I come in here. You somehow manage to keep crazy people from attacking me, so yeah, I do. I got to get going, but I'll see you later."

"All right. You be good, you hear me?" she hollered after him.

"I will!" he called back as he reached the door, mentioning for Mitchie to follow him.

She followed him, getting in the passenger side and closing the car door behind her. "Shane, I want to thank you."

"For what?"

"For that. For bringing me here to a place that's special to you, Nate, and Jason when you didn't have to. I had a good time," she said softly.

He bit his lip, not sure of what to say. "You're welcome." He turned on the car and navigated it onto the road, turning around to go in the right direction. There was a bit of silence for several moments before she spoke.

"So, did I manage to convince you?"

"Hmm?" he said distractedly, having been lost in his own thoughts and paying attention to the road.

"Did I manage to convince you?" she repeated. "That I'm not a completely horrible person."

He scrunched up his face, pretending to think. "I don't know. You came awfully close, though."

"Gee, thanks!" she retorted sarcastically as she poked him in the shoulder.

"Mitchie, I'm just teasing you. And yes, you did manage to convince me, so I'm glad that we did this together. It gave me a chance to get to know you."

"And the same on my end for you," she echoed quietly. "You're not that much of a jerk when you aren't being so demanding."

"Thanks for being so nice," he snorted.

"Just being honest is all," she yawned, settling into the seat.

"Try not to fall asleep. We'll be back at the house before you know it, and I don't want to risk having to wake up a cranky Mitchie," he teased.

"Well, if somebody didn't speed so much, the trip would be longer and I could sleep," she muttered, placing her elbow on the armrest and her head on her hand, her eyes closing.

"Like I said, this car is made to go fast, not slow. You should definitely see about getting a faster car, they're amazing." He continued talking for several moments, not aware that the young woman was currently fast asleep.

"Mitchie? You awake?" he asked, after she didn't respond to something he'd said.

There was no response for a second time. He stopped at a red light, and knowing that it was a rather short one, he glanced at her quickly, seeing that her eyes were indeed shut. "Oh, great. This is gonna be so much fun," he groaned aloud to no one in particular, regretting that he'd kept her up late with texts. The only problem that he had left to figure out now was what he was going to do to get her out of the car once he got back to the house.