I sometimes do this thing where I write things for fun. It’s the weekend, I don’t want to work on my erotic romance novella; I don’t want to work on polishing up a few more short stories to thrust onto some poor editor for a literary magazine, either. So I decided I’d fulfill one of the writerverse challenges. The challenge? Trick or Treat.

The idea? Write a story. Write two different endings to that particular story. One ending was a “trick,” the other was to be a “treat.” 

I decided I wanted to write something involving my future Savin/Jazz/Mitchel love triangle. Because look, I’m a sucker for triangles. Triangles are everywhere in my stories. I can’t write a novel without one, if there happen to be more than two  characters in the same story. I’m awful for this. I know I am. 

Except it wasn’t going to be canon. It was just gonna be me, getting some Savin/Mitchel and Savin/Jazz fun out of my system. Except the Savin/Mitchel version of the scene? So totally canon dialogue. It’s written in first person, though, because I thought — hey, I’m not writing canon. Why would I need to write this in third?

I do this to myself a lot. But now I have dialogue, and character actions, that I can at least salvage when the time comes. This scene can’t be too far from the end of the book — Jazz and Mitchel are still together, but it’s obvious that their relationship is about to end, and Savin’s more or less no longer in denial about how badly he wants to be with Jazz. But I just… yeah, I’ll just show you the Savin & Mitchel version of the piece:

“Decided to come after all, did you, Bates?”

I tense, my hand tightening around the glass of punch I had managed to pour myself. I don’t turn around, instead keeping my eyes forward. “Mitchel,” I say, nodding my head slightly. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him step beside me, one eye covered with an eyepatch. “Went with the pirate?” I ask, raising an eyebrow.

“Jasper made it quite clear that I couldn’t wear a costume matching his,” he says, clearing his throat. There’s this weird tone to his voice. “I had to scrounge up whatever I could on short notice.” He then looks me over, raising an eyebrow. “Did you come straight from work?”

I shrug my shoulder, turning away from Mitchel. Something tells me that the bastard’s lying, but I’m not sure why. Jazz wants nothing more than for Mitchel to stop hiding their relationship — why would he not want to be wearing matching costumes, if that were the case? Unless…. My heart skips a beat. “Did the two of you break up?” I ask, glancing over at him.

Mitchel stirs his drink with the straw, those fingers of his gripping it tightly. The bastard doesn’t look at me, instead eyeing the crowd with a slight frown on his face. “No, Bates. We did not,” he answers with a snort. He takes a sip of his drink. Totally unruffled, like the question hadn’t phased him at all, two minutes ago. “You’re no stranger to relationship troubles. I’m sure you’re aware of how they come and go.”

I narrow my eyes at him, frowning slightly to myself before taking a sip of my own drink. I study the crowd along with him, pursing my lips together. “The hell are you getting at, Mitchel?”

“I know all about your ex-fiancee. Jasper informed me that the two of you slept together before you put an end to your previous relationship, after all,” Mitchel says, smirking to into his cup. His eyes flicker over to me, the slightest bit of contempt clouding them over. He then pushes himself away from the punch table, directing me with a jerk of his head to follow him.

Sighing, I put my cup down, realizing I’ve got no choice if I don’t want Jazz to know I’m here. I move to push my glasses up the bridge of my nose before remembering I’m not wearing them. My contacts seem to want to slip out of position, too, feeling uncomfortable against my eyelids. Mitchel directs us into another room — an office, I realize as he flicks on a light. “Look, Mitchel, I’ve been up for over twenty-four hours, can you please make this quick?” I ask, rubbing my eyes.

“Please, Bates, tell me why you decided to come here, then?” Mitchel asks, lifting the ridiculous eyepatch up so he can study me with both eyes. “You could have simply gone home.”

He has a point. I could have. Instead of admitting that out loud, I cross my arms over my chest and clench my jaw. “I wanted to make sure Jazz was okay,” I answer. Might as well be fucking honest. Not like the bastard didn’t already know the answer to that, anyway.

Mitchel scoffs, shaking his head. “Of course you did, Bates,” he says, placing his own glass down on the enormous desk in the corner. “You’ve been standing idly by, waiting for the moment Jasper realizes I’m an awful human being since the moment we met.” He taps his fingers along the edge of the glass, his eyes never once leaving mine. “Haven’t you?”

I purse my lips together, my arms tightening over my chest. “And if I have?” I counter, raising an eyebrow.

“You want Jasper to be happy, don’t you?” he asks, totally ignoring my question as he walks over to me, his shoulders squared. He’s maybe a foot away from me when he stops, a slow smile making its way across his face. “Or is it that you only will accept his happiness, as long as his happiness is because of you?”

“He’s not happy,” I manage through gritted teeth. “I wouldn’t even be here if he was.”

“Couples fight, Bates,” Mitchel says with shrug. His lips press together for a moment, his eyes boring into mine before his lips twist into another smile. “If you took a moment to set aside your jealousy, then perhaps you’d see that Jasper is happy with me.”

“How could he be, when you don’t even fucking acknowledge him as your boyfriend?” I spit, narrowing my eyes at him. “He wants nothing more than for you to just — admit that the two of you are a couple, Mitchel. Yet you can’t even fucking do that — so no, I don’t believe for a goddamned second that Jazz is ‘happy’ with you.”

Mitchel snorts, running his fingers through his graying hair. He straightens the front of his costume with this utterly bored expression on his face. “Jasper has come to understand why we cannot disclose just how close we truly are,” he says, dusting off his sleeves. “You’re free to believe what you want, however. I’m sure you’ll come to realize the truth eventually.”

I uncross my arms, my hands balling into fists at my sides. Mitchel just keeps smirking at me, this utterly smug expression on his face. I want nothing more than to slap him, but instead I force myself to close my eyes and breathe in deeply. As I breathe out, I open my eyes and square my own shoulders. “Fine,” I mutter, turning towards the door. “I hope you’re right, Mitchel.”

“Of course I am,” Mitchel says as I turn on my heel to leave the room. “Aren’t I always?”

I don’t even bother dignifying him with a response. The bastard already knows he’s won.

For now, anyway.