Just as Kristina's bawling over Adam, Chase times the situation perfectly and calls. He says he's checking up on her and wants to make sure she's okay.
Instead of telling the truth, she decides to lie and say that everything's okay. Chase, though, is shockingly intuitive for a bad boy and knows she's lying.
They talk on the phone until Scott makes them get off so he can use it. Chase tells Kristina she probably won't sleep much because of the monster and tells her to think of him.
Chapter 162: Chase Was Right
As is par for the course for the monster, Kristina doesn't sleep for three days. Sarah invites her over, but she says she's sick. It's partially true, but she also doesn't want to have to deal with answering Sarah's inevitable questions.
She weighs her options—Chase or Brendan… or perhaps somebody else.
Chapter 163: I Had to Pick Up
School is starting soon and Kristina has to pick up her ID card. She lies to her mom and says she's going with Sarah, but really goes with Chase—he picks her up at a gas station, where they sit in his truck and kiss and smoke cigarettes.
At school, Chase and Kristina wait to get ID cards, class schedules, and other fun back to school red tape. Then it's back to Chase's truck to smoke and make out some more.
It would have been a perfect day… except Scott happens to see Chase drop her off.
Chapter 164: GUFN Again
Just like that, Kristina's grounded again, and just like before, she has plenty of time on her hands to think about her situation.
In particular, she thinks about how much she's changed over the summer, and where her previous life of innocence fits into the person she's become. She also wonders if she should come clean to her mom and break the news that her perfect image of Kristina doesn't exist.
Chapter 165: Leigh Headed Back to School
It's time for Leigh to fly back to school. Everyone goes to the airport to see her off, except for Kristina, who claims she has cramps. Okay, she actually does have cramps.
Mom says okay, but makes her promise to behave herself. The minute the car leaves the driveway, though, Kristina calls Chase and asks him to come over and bring the goods.
Kristina and Chase get high and Chase actually has to tell her to take it easy. Kristina tells him she can't and won't.
Chapter 166: Chase Left Me with Goodies
Against his better judgment, Chase leaves Kristina with crank, persuaded by the charms of Bree. After he leaves, she immediately begins plotting how to escape her imprisonment in her own home.
Sweet-talking her mom is out, though, so the only option she has for one last free-for-all before school starts is to sneak away.
Chapter 167: I Watched the Window
While looking out the window and plotting her escape, Kristina channels Bree and calls Brendan. She might really like Chase, but she figures it's time to see what this guy has in him, too.
Brendan asks where she's been and she decides not to tell him that she's grounded again. While Bree might be a first class wild woman, the idea of having gotten in trouble twice doesn't sit well with Kristina.
She does tell him, though, that she's sneaking out, so their meet-up has to be late enough to give everyone time to go to bed. Brendan says that's fine, provided she doesn't get caught. They make a deal that she'll bring the crank if he brings the beer.
Chapter 168: I Hid Out in My Room Until Dinner
At dinner, Kristina eats all her veggies just like a good girl to keep her mom from nagging her. She decides to take advantage of the fact that she has her period and cash in her cramp excuse again and goes to bed early.
As she waits for her family to go to sleep, Kristina considers the fact that every move she's taken this past summer might have started a landslide of bad choices.
But then she thinks about the positives—that doing things she shouldn't do is fun, even thrilling, and might have even been worth it.
Chapter 169: I Hoped Not
In spite of the height of her window and the basic wrongness of what she's doing, Kristina sneaks out. In hindsight, she speculates that climbing out her window might have been the safest thing she did all night.
Chapter 170: Brendan Was Waiting
Brendan picks her up and invites her to go to Chamberlain Flat, an abandoned mine where people like to party.
On the way, he tells Kristina about a guy named Evan Malone, who is notorious among students at their school for being a first class party guy and skinning goats. She's always believed he was an urban legend used by parents to keep their kids away from the Flat, but apparently he's actually real.
Brendan tells her, though, that he's long gone and she shouldn't be scared of running into him. Which kind of makes us wonder—if Brendan's been acquainted with guys who skins goats, what is he capable of?