Its not that bad

(Day 5 - Saturday- afternoon Beach party)
JD with Cindy

With the stage set up and People went in different directions. Conner went back to the bunkhouse and got ready for the beach. JD was not far behind him. They changed and got their gare ready Grabbed the surfboards. Walking along the beach. JDs Phone chimed It was a text from Rose "Conner, they got a spot I guess we are eating lunch together as a group" said JD. Conner saw the group forming as they put beach blankets down with their umbrellas. They had claimed a spot near the water but close to the fire ring. The sand was getting hot as the sun was overhead. The sky clear the waves crashing on the beach is relaxing. The salt air was refreshing after working on the stage. walking up JD and Conner said hi to everyone. JD dropped his stuff and walked up to Rose and hugged her "Miss me?" he asked in a playful way.

Matt and Courtney are still on his mind as he put the JD extra surfboard down. He looked up seeing Courtney walking near the fire ring. He knew this was his chance to speak with her about Matt alone. "JD I see you in a bit got to talk to Courtney for a bit," Conner said. JD looked up from his bag "Ya, cool, see ya around Conner." JD replied as he looked through his bag. laying out his beach blanket. Then look back at Rose "where are we siting?" he asked her.

Rose smiled at JD. "Of course." She led JD to where they were sitting as Conner left.

Courtney had noticed the group forming and, being Matt was with them, was contemplating finding someplace else to eat lunch.

She was thinking about her options when she heard Conner's voice. Looking up at him she smiled but her smile quickly faded.

"Hey." She replied, then nodded towards the group forming on the beach. "Looks like they are getting ready to take over the beach or something." Though she had a feeling that Conner came over to her for a different reason. "You noticed didn't you?" Of course, Conner would notice something was wrong he could read her like a book. "Maybe we should go talk some place."

He started to walk up towards the top of the beach at an angle leaving the others behind he glanced over to make sure she was with him. "OK, what's up?" you have been avoiding the group in part Matt pacifically. Did he do or say something rude or offensive?" he asked trying to sound neutral but protective at the same time.

Courtney shook her head. "No. Nothing like that." Matt hadn't committed some crime or anything. "He invited me to the back to school dance. I know, I should have seen it coming but I didn't. He caught me completely off guard. And I messed up with how I turned him down but I didn't know how to tell him." Realizing she hadn't said what the problem was. "Its more than one thing to be honest."

Conner looked up at the sky then at the ground kicking a bit of sand to the side thinking "And why turn him down? he seems like a nice guy I would think he would be a great date for you. I do think he has like you for sometime know that's the inspiration I get from him. You are not one to run from somthing so why now?" he asked looking straight at her knowing if he did that she could not lie to him.

"Well, for one thing I hadn't told you, yet but my parents couldn't give me extra spending money this year. I don't have enough to do both that dance and homecoming." She hated asking people, even Conner, for money so it wasn't like she was looking for a handout. "The surfboard I got was actually given to me by someone."

He let out a small laugh "Sorry, really? Girl what are we going to do with you. Don't you dare use that as an excuse with me!" he said sternly and almost hurt. "I understand you don't like people giving you money," he said looked at the ground thinking. "Ok, you earn it then. help me get JD Mustang up by Christmas. I don't think I can do it by myself anyways. besides, you are better at the transmissions than I am. and I pay you for the work. so let's see the hourly wage for a trans tech." he thought for a moment. "so when we get back I will give you a hundred dollar advance. and you owe me 3 Saturdays or Sundays you choose what day. Plus one day to install the transmission. O did I tell you you have no chose in this?" said conner with a smile.

"OK, fine. I won't argue." Besides the fact that she always lost those arguments, she loved that kind of work. "But there is another problem." Courtney paused trying to figure out how to say this. "I really like Matt but, well, I really can't have him be my rebound. I can't do that to him. I mean I'm not saying he is for certain just that I need to be sure he's not. That's going to take more time." Was talk of a rebound weird considering she never dated Heath? Courtney didn't know but rebounds were what came after that kind of thing, right?

"If you want to take some time committing to the dace that's fine. But the only way you will figure out if you are rebounding is by spending some time with him. Seeing where your feelings go. Avoiding him is not right either. and not fair for him or you. Explore and have fun not like he is asking you to marry him or be exclusive. If you need some boundary for a while. Explain it to him I am sure he will understand Matt is a good guy. He knows you are friends as well. If he is willing to risk it should be good enough right?" Conner said trying to ensure her.

Courtney bit her lip and looked down the beach to where Matt sat and then back to Conner. "I really screwed up,didn't I. I should have just told him. How do you know he'll still talk to me?" Courtney was unaware that Conner and Matt had talked earlier. So, she didn't know he had sounded more concerned than upset.

He looked at her with a smile. "Things guys know. Matt will talk to you. If he did not like you he would have not asked you to the dance right?" He got an evil grin. "Just give him a big wet passionate kiss. that will show him" he said seriously then paused then laughed. "no you don't have to do that." he said jokingly "I guy can dream." he said laughing. Just go talk to him things will be fine. If not I will have JD break his legs" he said with a grin. "Joking aside Just talk to him tell him you got scared that's the truth. just work it out" he said looking into her eyes with support.

Courtney rolled her eyes at the wet kiss part but laughed a little as well. "OK. I'll talk to him but first you have to tell me something." A grin crossed her lips. And it was clear the old Courtney was back. "So, how many girls do you have going? I mean it was Jocelyn but now is Kaylee and Blossom as well?"

Conner smiled "you don't miss a thing do you? what that's not enough. do you think I need more?" he said with a laugh. "Since we both know Kaylee I will start with her. I think she matured this summer I always saw her as Matt's sister and 8 years old. This year I did not see her that way she is fun and likes a lot of things I do. You know that is the type of girl I like. Matt and I talked about it. So don't think I did not ask him. He said he is alright about it. As for Kaylee what she thinks I don't know and she has not said or ask me about it yet." he said looking back at the others on the beach.

"Blossom, I was looking at from the first day of school. So really, there is not anything new there. She is a bit different shy than the outgoing girls I go out with but I think it's just she is new here and she has not let go yet. I do like her being around her is fun and she is a really nice girl. He said looking back at Courtney seeing what her reaction was.

"Jocelyn is really different from what I normally try to go out with you know that. She is even more reserved than Blossom if that is possible. Something is bothering her or something back home was hard on her. So her home life was bad I think. She a nice person and you can get along with her with a little work. To be honest she hides a bit too much of her past for me. and he hangs around a lot of the LGBTQ people. Which you know I don't care about. but I get the feeling her past and that are related. Anyways I think she is dealing with too much so I think we will turn out to be good friends in the end. I will be there for her if she needs anything. It's just more than I think I can deal with right now. I would be a better friend than a boyfriend I think." he said thinking.

Courtney laughed at his comment about it not being enough. She nodded when he talked about Kaylee; she did seem more mature now. "Well, she did....I was going to say let you but I think the standing on your shoulders might have been her idea. Matt said she was a ...a free spirit. " Courtney wasn't sure what to say about Blossom. "She seems nice. I don't really know her that well despite her, Ashley, Jack and Justin hanging with the group at meals and such." As for what he said about Jocelyn. Courtney nodded. "That makes sense. Sometimes people needs time to heal and sometimes." She glanced back towards the group and smiled slightly, pointing towards JD and Rose. "Sometimes people are like those two." It still amazed her they had found each other and connected so quickly despite what they individually might have been going through. Turning her attention back to Conner. "Well, whatever or more like whoever you decide in the end I'm, pretty sure, you'll make the right decision just don't completely wear yourself out in the process." Right about then Courtney noticed someone wipe out on their board. "Damn. That looked bad." The boy who had wiped out got up from the waves. He seemed to be fine, except he was holding his wrist. "Isn't that David Brick?" Conner possibly was the best drummer in the school. David Brick was a year younger not quite as good as Conner but still good. Courtney watched the chaperones gather around the boy then Ms. Kopper, the music teacher, look around and head towards the large group. She talked to Kyle for a moment then glanced around once more and headed straight for Conner and Courtney.

Conner looked at Ms. Kopper then at Courtney "Ah.. she is coming our way I am not sure if I should run" he said trying to be funny. "They can not blame me for his wipeout can thay?" he asked Courtney.

Courtney laughed. "Well...." she joked back. Ms. Kopper arrived and said to Conner. "Would you be up for performing another song? David injured his wrist and can't play. There is a student I asked to perform but she's now without a drummer. You're the only drummer I have that I think could pick up the music so quickly." The music teacher wouldn't go out of her way to ask someone unless the student was really good. She wasn't trying to be cryptic about who she was talking to. She was just not thinking to give Conner the name of the student he'd be playing with, not thinking it was overly important information, it slipped her brain to mention it.

Conner thought for a moment trying to keep the sapience going. "Ah.. a Sheila, well then ya anything for a lady," said Conner with his smile. "Just text me the song name so I can listen to it some. I am on stage most of the time anyway so no big deal." Conner said.

"Thanks," Ms. Kopper responded returning the smile. "You'll get some points added to something at sometime. Just remind me." Ms. Kopper was an excellent music teacher and good at working with the kids but she was also quirky and a little flighty at times. "I think she, " Meaning the other student Conner would be performing with. "Should be doing two songs but I was only able to talk her into one." The music teacher said almost absently but it also might have been a hint for Conner to maybe try some convincing of his own. She pulled out her phone and scrolled through a few things then said. "OK, the song has been sent to you. If you could meet her at 2:30 at the stage area that should give you both enough time to practice together. " With that, Ms. Kopper wandered off.

Courtney looked at Conner and said. "Wow. Anything for a lady? Look at you being all chivalrous and stuff." It was a joke though because Conner was a good guy and yes he was the kind of guy to help out a girl or a friend. Courtney, of course, knew this. "Well, maybe this mystery girl will end up on your list as well." She laughed. It was all in good fun but she couldn't help but joke a little about it.

Conner laughed "what jealous? you know you are always on my list Courtney. Who knows this mystery lady could end up on my list." he said with a grin. he looked at the others on the beach "we should get back to the others I am hungry and like to eat something. So now just talk to Matt lets see where this goes Courtney." said Conner as he started to walk with Courtney.

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