Jake looked like a deer that had just woken up to find a hunter’s gun pointing at him. “Uh,” he said, and Roux managed to roll her eyes a little at his denseness. But then she bit her lip and looked at Jake, and it was suddenly so obvious.
Roux was still in love with him.
Julia looked ready to turn Jake inside out using only her menacing stare, so he answered quickly. “You, babe.” He smiled at her. “Jules, I told you, Roux didn’t mean anything. She was a mistake. She meant nothing .”
I looked at Roux when he said that and immediately wished I hadn’t. Roux looked like she had been slapped, her mouth twitching before it smoothed back to her normal, neutral expression. “There you go, Julia,” she said. “He’s all yours.”
“Damn right,” Julia replied, then threw her arms around Jake’s neck as the crowd started to disperse. Roux stayed standing next to one of the bookcases, but her knuckles were white against the mahogany wood.
“Roux,” I started to say when I was close to her.
“What?” She sighed. “Just … what.”
I had no idea what I was going to say, but before I could even think of something, Roux interrupted me. “He’s an asshole,” she said.
“Yes,” I said. Agreeing seemed to be easiest.
“A really big asshole.”
“I hope he gets hit by a giant truck and they can’t even peel him off the street because he’s so flat.” Her words were slurring again, but I think that’s what she said.
“And then flattened again by a steamroller,” I said, then added “flattened a lot ” for good measure.
Roux was starting to sink down against the wall, and she pulled a plaster head of some ancient Greek god down with her. “I’m just going to stay here and sulk with my new Roman friend,” she said.
“I think he’s Greek.”
“God, Maggie, really ? You want to play ‘Guess the Ancestry’ right now?”
“Sorry,” I said. “Sorry, I’m a jerk. But not as big a jerk as Jake.”
“Yeah.” Roux sniffled. “You can’t spell ‘jerk’ without ‘Jake,’ righ—? Oh, wait. Yes, you can. Never mind.”
She was quite a sight, red horns slipping closer to her forehead as she cuddled the Greek (no way was that thing Roman) head close to her. I sat down next to her, unsure of what to do or say. I had never been in love before, and I had never, ever seen a fight over a guy before. What were the rules here? Were we supposed to eat chocolate now? MaybeJesse’s mom had some contraband Hershey bars stashed in her nightstand. I couldn’t find a safe, but I could damn well track down some Halloween candy.
“He used to be really nice.” Roux sighed. “He said a lot of things….” She trailed off, her eyes filling with tears.
“Oh, no! Please don’t cry!” I told her. “Roux, c’mon, you said it yourself. He’s an asshole.”
“I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life!”
“You’re not even seventeen!”
“That just makes it worse!” She wiped her nose on her sleeve and sniffled again. “The only guy who will ever love me is Caesar here.”
“Well …” I tried to find something to say. “At least he died nobly.”
Roux looked at me and for a minute I thought she was going to start yelling again, but then she giggled. “You are so weird!”
“Says the demon girl who’s snuggling with Caesar’s head!” I protested, but I was giggling, too. “This party sucks.”
“It so sucks,” Roux said, agreeing. “They always do, though. Getting ready for the party is the best part of the party. It’s all downhill after.” Her gaze drifted from Caesar toward the bookshelves. “That picture sucks, too. It’s ugly.”
“Totally,” I said. It was a framed picture in the middle of two bookcases, a sailboat on choppy seas, an obvious Winslow Homer knockoff. Even the frame looked cheap, and I was pretty sure that Armand Oliver didn’t do anything cheap.
“I need more wine,” Roux announced next to me, wiping