49. Max’s Troubled Thoughts

Alex cleared her throat, making sure to use a deep voice.

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“I think all that alcohol blurred your eyes” she snapped at Jae, pushing him away with the use of her elbow.

Colin also grabbed Jae’s shoulder to pull him back, “Jae, take it easy, man. You usually don’t get drunk like this. Did you drink before coming here?”

Jae stumbled a bit but Colin’s hand kept him upright, “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Did you know I actually saw Logan leave the house earlier? I thought he’d be here but ta-da! He isn’t! Colin! That can only mean one thing—!”

Colin merely sighed, slightly irritated, “Come on, man. You need some rest. I’ll help you get upstairs. You can stay the night.”

Jae shrugged off Colin’s hand and drank from his cup, “I’m fiinne. Pffftt. I should have followed him. Man, do I need to do more digging about this girl.”

The cup turned out to be already empty so Jae made a move to grab another but Colin stepped in his way.

To help distract him from getting more drunk, Alex thought she should keep him talking,  “If the girl was as bad as you say, why would Logan go back to her?”

It worked. Jae’s ears perked up. He stared at the ceiling to think, “That’s a good question. I know my brother wouldn’t trust that b*tch but she’s very manipulative that she might convince him she’s change” he snorted at the thought, “I wouldn’t believe her for a second but Logan? Logan is too kind for his own good so I have to look out for him even if he hates my guts. Now, I would be very glad to see him happy and settled with the right girl. Is this the one? I don’t know. He won’t tell me a thing. Even if it’s not the b*tch, that doesn’t mean there’s no more girls like her.”

Colin also began to show interest, “If he’s not telling you anything, how are you digging information?”

“Well, I still check the school yearbooks for any potential girls.”

Colin became skeptical, “But Logan hasn’t dated anyone from school for the past three years. What makes you think he’ll be interested in one of them now?”

The twinkle in Jae’s eyes told me he was amused at our curiosity, “Another excellent question. It’s just a start. I’m having Carla help me check it off my list.”

“Carla?” Alex blinked in surprise. The head cheerleader’s suspicious eyes flashed through her mind.

Jae’s gaze turned to Alex, “Yup, she saw Logan one night with her. He dropped her off at a restaurant, she said. Carla was sitting on a table near the door so she easily saw them. Her memory of that night is our best lead.”

Colin quickly convinced Jae to rest. They soon left the room with Colin practically dragging him out.

Alex found it hard to breathe. She couldn’t believe what she just heard. Her mind sped processed the new development.

Jae and Carla worked together to find out who Logan’s girlfriend was. They linked the phone and the restaurant together, thinking that the girl in both incidents was the same. At the same time, Jae worried that the girl could be Logan’s ex which could only mean—

—either Logan did get back together with his ex and they falsely regarded Xandra as his current girlfriend or Logan did NOT get back together with his ex but the still falsely regarded Xandra as his current girlfriend

Alex felt the nerves in her brain fry up, unable to think of what to make of the situation. The only thing she knew she had to do was take Xandra out of the equation… but how? When the person they were looking was her?

===

Max watched as Colin took Jae upstairs. As his favorite best friend, he should be helping out but he had important matters to address. He peeked at the kitchen and spotted Alex.

Whenever he saw him, the English presentation would appear in his mind.

The way he and Logan acted that day, he could never forget it. Neither of them showed restraint unlike the first time they received the project. He distinctly remembered them arguing about their roles. Okay, that could have changed in two weeks—but the closeness they showed…

It seemed unusual.

He couldn’t help but wonder… What if Alex lied? What if he didn’t have a girlfriend after all? What if he only used that to cover up his relationship with Logan? Or…

… What if that was his intention with Lauren? Was Alex only leading her on?

The cup crinkled under his touch.

“Hey, Alex!” Max shouted. Alex only glanced at him for a second before he looked back to the floor.

Wow, Max thought. He couldn’t tell what kind of mood Alex was in but he acted quite out of place in a party. If he wanted to get some information, he may need some help.

“Come on, drink up” Max encouraged him, “You’ll feel much better once you have a few.”

When Alex didn’t make a move, he grabbed a cup full of beer and dangled it in front of Alex’ face. Instantly, the cup flew out of his grasp and a new sting appeared on the back of his hand. The beer spilled over the floor.

“Leave me alone” Alex uttered, giving Max the stink eye, “You’re drunk.”

Max cackled, “My alcohol tolerance is high, Alex. No need to worry about me but you though? We got something to worry about.”

This time, he got Alex’ attention, “Excuse me?”

“Tell me…” Max an arm over Alex’ shoulders and whispered in his ear, “Are you gay?”

Alex immediately pushed him off, “You are just drunk.”

Max snorted as Alex walked away from him. He followed closely behind, “I was surely not drunk yesterday, Alex. I saw the whole thing with sober eyes.”

“Saw what?”

“You and Logan.”

“Me and Logan what?”

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Max lowered his voice and snickered as they reached the doorway to the living room, “You guys and your kissy faces.”

“We did not have kissy faces and everything was an act, Max” Alex explained, turning around to point a finger at him, “You had the same assignment. You should know that.”

“Buddy, buddy, buddy… there is a fine line between acting and reality. That kind of chemistry you guys had? No amount of acting can reach the same level.”

Alex’ nose flared up, “Maybe you’re wrong.”

“You don’t have to deny it. Logan is a fine specimen. If I swung that way, he’d be my type so there is no room for judgment here, Alex. Just admit.”

“Max, I already told you” Alex hissed at this point, “I am NOT gay.”

Just like Max predicted, Alex would only keep telling him the same things over and over again. But could Alex be telling the truth? He considered the thought… but maybe Alex was unaware of his real feelings for Logan.

Too many possibilities and not enough answers, Max began to question Alex’ words, “Pfftt, your words prove nothing. It can’t erase what my eyes saw!”

“I already showed you a pic of me and my girlfriend” Alex replied with an eye roll, clearly annoyed by the unending topic.

“Your girlfriend?” Max scoffed, “Who happens to live in a different town? Psshh. We all know that story. That’s no proof.”

Alex became silent but that didn’t mean Max won the argument. Shaking his head, Alex said, “Why should I even explain myself? I have no obligation to prove myself to you.”

“Sounds like what a liar would say.”

“Oh?” Alex snorted, “How could I exactly prove my sexuality, huh, Peyton?”

Max thought hard, looking around the room. He needed a way that could answer most of his questions but what?

His eyes fell onto the dance floor. Then, a lightbulb slowly lit up above his head.

He smirked at Alex, “You, my buddy, need to get laid.”

Not that Max would really force Alex into it but he wanted to see how Alex would handle the situation, in order to his loyalty and his sexuality.

“I’m leaving.”

Alex headed for the door but Max grabbed his arm.

“Let me go!” Alex shouted, struggling to get away.

This caught several people’s attention. To most people, it just seemed like two guys goofing around but to Lauren, it seemed otherwise.

She made her way towards the pair, no doubt already thinking that Max was up to something again.

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