Being More Social – Chapter 11

Granted, if one looked at it objectively, Nicole quitting Student Council wasn’t exactly horrific. If it wasn’t Nicole, I might have even labeled it ‘teen drama.’ Nevertheless I still mirrored her sad expression.

“Is it that bad?” I asked her.

She nodded as she drove, then sighed. “I didn’t wanna tell you because I figure it would put a rain cloud over our hanging out time.” She paused, then spoke with an uncharacteristically small voice. “Want me to just drop you off at home?”

“No!” I all but shouted.

Nicole recovered somewhat. “Good, because I haven’t been able to hang out with Single Adam in a long while, and I miss him.”

“It’s all about sex with you, isn’t it?” I asked her slyly, somewhat relieved myself that we got over the topic of her quitting and onto something a bit more happy.

“Hey, I never mentioned sex.” She replied with her own sly voice. I made the mistake of letting silence creep into the conversation, and she picked up right where she left off. “But yeah, I’m definitely quitting. It’s like… I don’t want to leave but I’d rather be a bit sad because I left then go through awkward hell every week until the year is over, y’know?”

Whenever Nicole spoke with a flustered voice, it was all too clear that she was upset, or at least more upset than she wanted to overtly show. I didn’t ever dare call her out on that or even make note, because then she might go to lengths to hide it, and I was barely at the point where I could start reading her.

I didn’t respond, mainly because I didn’t know what the heck to say, and Nicole took note of that. “Sorry.” She flatly said. “So what do you wanna do?”

“You could try talking to Phil or something.” I weakly suggested, ignoring her attempt to change the conversation. Nicole was always the one suggesting ways to make my life better. I felt like I owed it to her to do the same.

“I don’t want to.” She simply answered.

“But if you did, and you reached some kind of compromise or something…” I trailed off.

“There’s nothing to compromise about.” She turned to face me, despite still driving. “Being in the same room as Phil is the problem. There’s nothing I can do to solve that, let alone you.” She turned back to the road, to my relief. “No offense.” She tossed over her shoulder.

“None taken.” I muttered. I knew my place. I may have come a long way, but I was nowhere near Nicole’s level. It sure did seem silly, though, that she was able to solve the most monumental problems of others, and yet seemed to be unable to solve her own.

“I want you to stay on the council.” I added after another silence.

“I kinda figured that.” she shot back. “I wanna stay too. It just… It just would lead to icky stuff.”

“But what if in a month you can tolerate being in the same room as him again?” I blurted out. “Would it have been worth it to quit?”

“And what if this is hard enough as it is and I don’t need my friend badgering me about a decision that was difficult enough to make by myself?” Nicole asked me, lowering an eyebrow but keeping her eyes on the road.

I broke out in a grin. If I hadn’t known any better, I would say it caught her off guard. “So I’ve graduated to the ranking of ‘friend,’ have I, your highness?” I asked her sarcastically.

A mix between angry and holding back a giggle splashed across Nicole’s face. “Oh my god.” She muttered, giving me a gentle shove. “You are such a dinkus.”

Dinkus. Yet another word I’m sure many highschoolers used that I didn’t know. Either way, it was good to change the subject and see her give off a smile of some kind. “You’re a dinkus.” I replied lamely. I thought I would have had a better comeback but nothing came to me in time.

“Oh snap. Good one.” She replied sarcastically. “Yeah, but only because ‘fuck buddy’ is an outdated term.”

“Really?” I asked her, almost serious. “I would have thought a term like ‘fuck buddy’ would be relatively modern.”

“Is ‘swag’ outdated?” Nicole asked me, smiling triumphantly already at my answer.

“Point taken.” I admitted begrudgingly, in time for us to arrive at her home. Taking off my seatbelt, I hopped out of the car and noticed that the car matched Nicole’s attire and hair – all black.

“Hey, Nicole.” I semi-shouted.

“Yo.” She whisked around just before opening her front door.

“What’s with the black?” I asked. “I mean, you, the car…”

“Oh my God, Adam.” Nicole responded. “You can’t just ask a car why it’s black.”

She noted my blank stare and waved me off. “Never mind. I dunno, I just like it. It’s a nice base, like a template. If I wear black all the time, it’s like a constant. Nobody knows me for how I dress because they always just see the same thing. Suddenly it’s who I am, not what I wear, that becomes so important. I was gonna do it with white, but it gets dirty so easily.”

“Oh, so you’re a special snowflake.” I said with a wink.

“You know me too well, squirt.” She replied with a wink of her own, before reaching for the doorknob.

“I’m surprised you’re not better friends with Paul.” I remarked, to no one in particular.

Without seeing her face, I could see that she visibly hesitated. Pulling her hand from the doorknob but not moving to face me, she asked, “Paul who?”

I scratched my head. “Paul… Stevens.”

She chuckled intently. “Oh boy.” She murmured. “We’re gonna have a conversation, aren’t we?” Without waiting for me to process what she said, let alone respond to it, she opened the door and waltzed in.

“Hi mommy, hi daddy!” She sang gleefully, taking her coat off and throwing it on to the coat rack, kind of like in the movies. “I have Adam with me so please leave any disappointment in the jar to your left.”

I shot her a look as I took my boots off. She looked at me for about a second before breaking into a full grin. Once we had all of our winter gear off we marched into the kitchen where her parents were waiting. As usual, Mr. Baker was sitting at the kitchen table, now reading A Tale of Two Cities. Mrs. Baker was sitting at the table too, doing some kind of paperwork.

“Welcome home.” She said half-pleasantly, then looked at me with no amusement in her eyes. “Oh, hello, Arnold.”

“Adam.” I corrected her.

“Don’t.” Nicole said to me in a whisper. I looked over to her and saw she was holding her face in her hand.

Mrs. Baker attached her gaze back to Nicole. “So, you’re back with him?” She asked her. “Isn’t Phil going to be upset by this?”

“The council meeting? Oh, it went fine, mum.” Nicole answered annoyedly. Her mother appeared to have a talent for getting under her skin.

“Ah, so he broke up with you, huh?” Mrs. Baker asked, giving Nicole the stone-faced stare of a lifetime. “How unfortunate. It’s almost as if I told you it would happen.”

“I broke up with him.” Nicole said weakly, her hand still covering her face.

“What did you expect, sweetheart?” Her mother added in a coaxing voice. Whether she was being sarcastic or not, I couldn’t tell. “They were raised in the same family. Do you know how Einstein defined insanity?”

“Okay, mom, can we not start this shit when we have a guest over, please?” Nicole asked in an exasperated tone. “If you need to tell me anything, just put it in the jar.”

I looked at her, confused. She motioned to the kitchen counter. There was a jar labelled ‘disappointments’ with a few pieces of writing in it. I almost chuckled to myself. That was so funny, in a very sad way.

Mrs. Baker stood up and walked by us, observing us. She stopped at me, and looked me right in the face. “It’s fine,” She finally said. “Go have your fun. Supper’s at six. Warn me if Adam is staying over.”

Nicole sighed. “Maman, donnez-moi une chance.” She spoke in perfect French. ” Ce garçon est différent. Je n’aime pas comment vous me parlez quand je suis avec mes amis.”

Je le ferais peut-être si tu arrêtais de coucher avec tes amis et de déshonorer ta famille.” Her mother fired back. “Tu aimes dire ‘il est différent’ à chaque fois tu as un nouveau mec qui ne cherche toujours qu’une relation sexuelle.” It was awkward enough being in the middle of their debate, let alone not knowing what they were saying. Plus, to be blunt, it was French.

Vous ne voulez pas comprendre! Ce n’est pas juste!” Nicole protested. “Oui, je suis une putain. Alors, quoi? Pourquoi est-ce que je suis inférieure simplement parce que j’aime les rapports? Vous devriez être heureuse que je suis honnête avec vous!”

Nicole’s tone was getting angry, and she was starting to breathe heavier as well. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but feel like this was a more common occurrence in this house than I would have liked to admit, even though the French part confused me. Finally, Mr. Baker cleared his throat. “Nicole, if you’re going to have the boy over, go to your room.” He declared with his low, gravelly voice. “We’ve got things to take care of down here, and your tone is not appreciated.”

Nicole’s gaze went from her mom, to her dad, to her mom again. “C’est des conneries,” she muttered in disgust as she loudly trudged up the stairs. After sneaking one last look at her parents, I followed her upstairs to her room, where I found her lying face-down on her bed.

“You okay?” I asked her gently, sitting next to her.

“Parents fucking suck sometimes.” She muttered into the sheets. “I’m sorry you had to hear that.”

“Don’t be too sorry, Jean Valjean.” I quipped. “I had no clue what the hell you were saying. What was with the French?”

She lifted her head up lazily. “It’s a system my family thought up. When we want to talk but keep it private with other people in the room, we say it in French. It used to be Spanish, but as Spence, Mitch and I got older more and more people our age would pick up on what we said.” A small smile began to show on her face. “We used to do it for fun things. Making fun of strangers whenever we were out as a family, gossiping… We even pretended to be a family from France on vacation once. It kinda backfired since the first people we talked to turned out to be from Quebec.” Her head flopped back down on to the mattress. “Canadians suck sometimes too.”

My hand caressed her back gently. “I think it’s really cool that you know French.” I said supportively.

“You’re just saying that because mom tore me a fourty-seventh asshole today.” She mumbled into her sheets.

“Does she do it often?” I asked her.

Nicole lifted herself up, eventually moving to a sitting position on the edge of the bed. My hand never left her back. “Not in French,” she commented, resting her head on my shoulder. “Whenever she feels like it though, she just goes for it.”

“What did you say?” I asked her.

“No offense, squirt, but if I wanted to say it in front of you, I would have spoken English.” She said, moving her head so she could stare me directly in the eye.

I didn’t respond. We sat there for a good few moments until Nicole got up and paced for a little bit. Afterwards, she stretched, and casually stripped away her two layers of shirts, leaving herself topless.

“Should I be taking the hint?” I asked jokingly.

“Take off your shirt too if my boobs bother you.” Nicole shot back with a wink. She then sat back down on the bed. Instinctively, my hand went to caress her breast.

“I mean, why else would you take your shirt off with me here?” I asked her teasingly.

She looked at me with an eyebrow arched. “Actually, if you want me to be honest, I do this all the time.” She informed me. “I realize you may not quite get this, but boobs are kind of a big load. Especially when they’re as big as mine. And especially especially when you’re a fucking idiot that doesn’t wear a bra.”

“Then why don’t you?” I asked, my hand still caressing her.

She shrugged. “I dunno. They’re too restricting, too tight. I guess my skin is kinda sensitive.” She answered. “But real talk, usually the first thing I do when I get home is lose the shirt. It’s not even a horny thing, it’s just, like… Freedom. Plus, I mean…” She shooed my hand away and grabbed her breasts in her hands. “Boobs. Fuckin’ boobs. These things are awesome. They’re heavy and annoying. but when I’m bored, I just sorta grab them or something.”

I chuckled, and also had to admit to myself that I liked where this conversation was going. “Don’t you ever turn yourself on?” I asked, hoping to get her in the mood.

“Actually, not really.” She replied, stone-faced. Well, that was a misfire, I thought to myself. “Guys love to think that every girl’s boobs are like these two pleasure buttons, and the bigger the girl’s boobs are, the more horny she feels from them getting touched. Yeah, that’s actually not really true at all. Truth be told, even when a guy is doing everything right, sometimes I don’t even feel anything from someone touching my nips or hell, even sucking on ’em. Plus, studies have shown that it’s actually the smaller boobs that feel more pleasure. I think I have one or two of those saved in my browser’s bookmarks if you wanna-”

“I’m… good, thanks.” I interrupted. It was clear I lost on that front.

She shrugged. “Whatever. Your loss.” She said, falling backwards and laying down on the bed, her boobs in her hands.

“So those times where I suck your nipples are just for nothing?” I asked, admittedly curious at this point.

“Not all of them, don’t worry.” She responded flatly. “Plus, the more sexually charged I am, the more I enjoy it, and let’s be honest.” She lifted her head and gave me a naughty grin. “I’m one horny little bitch.”

Now’s your chance, the voice in my head told me. Make a move.

Before I could she continued. “Maybe I should start wearing a bra.” She said, setting her head back down again. “The only problem is, in my size, they charge like fifty fucking dollars. For boob cups on a strap. That’s just stupid. Plus, I like the free feel. Some girls don’t like that I don’t wear a bra, like that in itself is slutty and it somehow insults all girls that I could let men objectify me or something.”

That sounds like something Jenna would say, I thought to myself.

“But to me, the more sexually open I am, then yeah, guys will view me as a sex doll, but the more they seem to just have a good time with me and appreciate me for who I am. It’s kinda nice to just embrace your flaws and know that others will accept you for it, even knowing that it’s mostly because they hope you’ll blow them underneath the bleachers or something.”

“That sounds like something straight out of a porn movie.” I commented.

Nicole grinned. “Yeah, kinda.” She replied. “I bet that’s where I got the idea for it too.” Suddenly, her eyes widened and she shot up. “Oh, right! Paul! We were totally gonna talk about him.”

“Paul’s the dude you blew under the bleachers?!” I asked her in disbelief. For some odd reason, I didn’t like picturing Paul ever doing anything sexual.

“Ew, God no.” Nicole replied. Apparently, neither did she. “I never did anything with him. I just sorta remembered. You mentioned him earlier.”

“Yeah, you both wear black a lot.” I answered lamely. “Plus you both really like to ‘real talk.’ Although the think you do it more because you feel like it, and he does it more to feel superior and give advice.”

Nicole sat up again. “Right?!” She asked excitedly. “Honestly, I don’t like Paul at all. He kinda scares me.”

“Scares you?” I repeated her. “Why?”

She shrugged. “I dunno. I don’t like his indirect way of answering things. It’s like he can’t ever be open about himself, and always has to have the conversation be one-sided. If someone ever asks me about something, I give them a straight answer.”

“Grade eleven.” I quipped.

“Shut up.” She replied, a grin forming. “You know what I mean. Plus, I get the feeling that under that innocent exterior is a serious manipulator. I bet he’s more of a slut than I am.”

“That’s kind of unfair.” I murmured loud enough for her to hear. “That’s just your opinion of how he is on the outside presuming things about his personality.”

Nicole looked at me with a lazy yet mischievous smile on her face. “Welcome to high school, squirt.” she announced. “Everyone’s gonna do that. At least I have the balls to admit it.. You probably did it too.”

“I did not.” I replied fiercely with an offended tone.

“No?” She asked, sitting up with a challenging grin on her face. “What about when you were head-over-heels for May? Are you telling me that there wasn’t a single time another guy talked to her, and you wanted to rip his balls off?”

Zac. She got me. I said nothing and looked down, which only fed her grin and turned it into one of triumph.

“Thought so.” She sighed contentedly. “Anyway, what were we talking about?”

“Gossip about others?” I offered.

“No, before that.” She said, pondering.

“…Paul?”

“Right, that.” She snapped to attention. “I just wanted to conclude by saying that I think he likes talking to others about their problems just so he can avoid his own, which is kind of a shitty way of doing things.”

“I think you two are more alike than you think.” I replied cheekily.

“I ought to wash your mouth out with soap.” Nicole giggled, lunging at me and trying to tickle me. Luckily for me, I wasn’t ticklish.

“Aw.” She pouted. “You’re no fun.” There was a significant pause, then she added, “No, I’m not.”

“You both like drama.” I suggested.

“Yeah, in an artsy-fartsy school. Imagine that.” She retorted. “Everyone who comes to Hazelwood High is either artsy, delusional or lost. I mean, remember how we talked about the sports teams at our last council meeting?”

I thought about it. “Did we?” I asked. “I don’t think we did.”

“Exactly.” She winked. “Arts are more fun anyway. In sports, you compete against others to get points. In arts, you compete against yourself to express what best matches your feelings.”

“Too deep for me.” I said jokingly.

“Well, excuse me.” Nicole replied in an annoyed voice. “I forgot I wasn’t talking to Bertolt Brecht.” The stretched on the bed then sat up. “Ooh, there’s an idea. I should try out for the school play next year.”   With that, she flopped back down on the bed again.

I laid down on the bed, her laziness becoming contagious, so that our heads were side-to-side from opposite directions. I turned my head to meet hers and gently kissed her cheek. “Why didn’t you this year? Didn’t you say you wanted to?” I asked casually.

“Too much on my plate, I guess.” She lazily replied, stretching. “Now that Student Council is out the window, I guess I can finally do it.”

“Nicole…” I started.

“Sssssh.” She replied lazily, reaching over with her opposite hand and covering my mouth. Playfully, I kissed her outstretched hand and brought it over me, shifting us into a spooning position.

After a while, she spoke up. “You want sex right now, don’t you?”

I turned around to face her. “Is this a trick question?”

She chuckled softly. “No, but I could tell something was up in the way you were responding to me when I was talking about these.” She cupped a boob in each hand.

“I’m a teenage boy. Sue me.” I retorted.

“You sound like me.” She grinned.

“Do you want sex right now?” I asked her, attempting to hide my hopefulness.

There was a clear pause. I eventually turned to Nicole, who appeared to be thinking it over. “Not really.” She finally concluded, then softly chuckled. “I know it’s weird. The school slut doesn’t want some right when you do. Sorry for blueballin’ ya.”

“You’re not the school slut.” I replied forcibly.

“Why aren’t I?” She casually asked, turning to face me.

“Well…” I began, almost nervous from her question. “I mean… you mean more than that to me.”

“I’m aware I’m more than just a slut, squirt. Obama’s also more than a president. He’s a person.” She replied.

“Obama?” I asked.

She shrugged. “First person I could think of.”

“Yeah, but a slut’s a bad thing. I-”

“Why?” She interrupted.

“Why is being a slut a bad thing?” I asked.

“Yup.”

“Well… It kind of devalues you. Like you’re just someone who just sells out their body and has no self-respect. And you’re more than that.”

“And if someone has sex with a lot of guys like that, then they have no self-respect?” She asked.

“Right.”

“Wrong.” She told me. “Sex is a natural thing. If I like it and want it, that shouldn’t have anything to do with my value to myself, or to others. The most insecure, self-hating girl in the world and the most secure, narcissistic girl in the world could both love sex just as much as each other. What would you use then to judge how much respect they have for themselves?”

“Umm…” I sensed a trap. “I dunno.”

“Then don’t judge them in the first place.” Nicole coolly told me. “It’s not like anyone’s love of sex is affecting you, unless you get in on it.” She grabbed my crotch to prove my point. “Slut is just a state of being. It just means that I like sex. And it’s not harming anyone, or an outlet for insecurity. No one teases me because I love video games too much. No one teases me because I love acting. But when people get this idea that the more sex you have, the less self-respect you have, that’s bad.”

“But I didn’t say you had no self-respect.” I protested. “I just said that a slut is-”

“Alright. What’s the difference between me and a slut?” She asked, squeezing my crotch to the point of slight pain. “I mean, hey. You’re having casual sex with two girls right now. Are you doing it because you have no self-respect?”

Hook, line, and sinker. “No, I’m not.” I admitted.

“Why are you doing it, Adam?” She asked in a sing-song voice, letting go of me.

“Because I like sex.” I admitted defeat.

Nicole smiled triumphantly. “And that’s me too. And that’s almost every ‘slut’ you’ll encounter in your life. And until you learn about their feelings, you’re in no position to judge them.” She concluded. My silence followed. “So I guess if you think about it, ‘slut’ couldn’t really be a bad term. I mean, we’re just doing this for fun, but we are pretty slutty.” She turned to face me.

Some part of me wanted to deny it, but that was only because of my preconceptions of the word. Admitting that Nicole was correct, I nodded.

“And don’t worry.” She added, a grin forming. “My best friend is a slut. And I like him a lot. Hell, I think he’s my best friend.”

“Oh yeah?” I asked with a friendly smile, turning to her. “Who’s that?”

Smiling, Nicole leaned in forward and gave me a deep kiss on the lips. She pulled back and smiled slightly, and I followed suit. My arms reached forward, pulling her into a tight embrace, one which she was glad to accept.

***

When high school had first been chucked into the mixing bowl that was my life, I felt like a deer in headlights. A new school, new people, a new way of doing things, feeling things and thinking things. Especially with Nicole by my side, I felt like I was able to take second semester’s new changes a lot better. Even by the first day, I was a little disappointed not to see my old teachers anymore, although I knew Salvador’s door was always open. Hell, I knew I’d be knocking on that door within days of the new semester blooming.

My first class of the new semester was geography, which could be roughly translated to ‘color in maps of the States by state’ class. Occasionally we switched it up with rock types or volcanoes or world cultures or theories of global warming coupled with why everyone in the class is a horrible person for being a part of consumerist society, but usually it was just maps and pencil crayons. I had to give my teacher, Mr. MacDonald, the benefit of the doubt. He seemed to be no happier with the curriculum than I was, and I figured he had no say on what he was teaching. He was still a fairly easygoing guy, which reflected in how he appeared. Slightly overweight and always in Hawaiian shirts for whatever reason, he was content with spending half of the class actually teaching and the other half letting us do whatever the heck he wanted. I bet if he had his way with the curriculum, he would have been much stricter.

I was relieved on the first day to find at least one familiar face in the class. I’m sure here were several people in the class that had classes with me last semester, but I really wasn’t outgoing enough to make friends with any of them, so they all kind of blended together. However, Lady Luck granted me a boon sitting next to me, and her name was Megan Schneider.

As attendance was being taken, she looked over to me and smiled shyly. “Hey.” she said simply yet cheerfully, waving her hand hesitantly.

“Hey.” I responded.

“Did you have a good break?” She asked cheerfully.

Break, my ass. It lasted all of four days with the meeting. “Yeah, it was alright.” I answered with a smile. “Yours?”

She simply shrugged shyly. “It was okay.” She answered.

“You two.” I heard a voice from the front. “Are either of you Megan Schneider?” Mr. MacDonald asked us. “If one of you are, I’m going to guess that it isn’t you.” He pointed at me, earning a few giggles from my classmates.

“Me, sir.” Megan squeaked.

“Is that so?” He asked. “Well, next time answer me the first time I ask, so I don’t have to break up your important discussion.”

“Yes, sir.” Megan squeaked again.

“‘Sir.’ I like that.” Mr. MacDonald grinned, before continuing with the attendance.

***

I was fairly nervous about second period. I had never taken Spanish before and didn’t know what to expect. My nervousness only increased with the fact that when all of us had gotten to the classroom and sat down, the teacher had yet to show up.

After all of us had a chance to make small talk with our neighbors (except for me, of course) our teacher burst through the door, carrying a small stack of papers.

“Siento!” She said distressedly in either a Mexican or Spanish accent. She plopped the papers down on her desk and straightened herself out. “I guess that’s your first lesson of the day – siento. It means ‘I’m sorry,’ but only in non-formal circumstances. If you’re saying sorry for something specific, it would be ‘lo siento.’ Has everyone got that? Great. My name is Mrs. Luciano and I’ll be your Spanish teacher for the next semester. I hope everyone’s looking forward to learning Spanish, unless you already know some Spanish, in which case I guess it’ll be re-learning!” She burst out laughing then immediately transitioned into continuing. “You’ll be getting a coursebook for this semester which will act as your personal tracking logs – there’s a fee for that I’m afraid. Don’t worry, I’m sure your parents will cover it!” Another laugh emerged before she continued. “So for now I’m going to go ahead and dive into the rules of the classroom, and then we’ll get into the first lesson. Does anybody have any questions?”

None of us said anything.

***

After a few texts to Nicole and a bit of stumbling around, I found my way to the history hall. I should have guessed it was around the same area where I took geography, but I was still a bit of a freshman. Eventually, I got to my class and opened the door to find that the teacher had already begun his lesson. I felt my cheeks redden.

“Oh, sorry.” I mumbled.

The teacher, a smallish old man of pure white skin and graying hair, paused, as if scanning my face. “Oh,” He said, almost to himself. “Don’t worry about it. Find a seat. I was just beginning anyways.”

I nodded and sat down as the teacher cleared his throat.

“As I was saying, my name is Mr. Anton, and I’ll be teaching you American history this year.” He began. I noticed he had a very weird voice. Not quite an accent, more like a tendency to stretch out his vowels when he spoke, as if he was always flustered. As well, he always incorporated his hands into his talking, from something as small as holding them in front of him to flat-out waving them as he talked.

“American history is more than just a bunch of old white men with old white hair signing documents.” Mr. Anton continued. “There’s two sides to every story, and this year we’re going to be teaching you the good and the bad of the founding fathers and the legacy they’ve created. Not that we don’t love this country, but in order to examine history fairly, we need to look at everything from both sides.” He paused and looked at us. “How many of you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?”

A few choice students raised their hands, to his evident delight. “I’m guessing you’ve fought with them once or twice? Every good couple does.” Where was he going with this? I wondered to myself.

“Examining history by looking at the bad and the good, then reaching a solid conclusion, helps us with handling our own disputes. It teaches us to see past our personal biases and look at things factually. As Robert Heinlein once said, ‘A generation which ignores history has no past… and no future.'” He looked at us and smiled. “Do you think Thomas Jefferson never committed any sins? Was Martin Luther King Jr. really a good guy? Were we the heroes of World War II we think we were? In this classroom, you won’t hear me answer any of those. What I will give you are the tools and resources to answer them yourselves.”

I had to admit, for a guy who didn’t really give a crap about history, Mr. Anton had me excited. And from looking around the classroom, I was a minority.

***

I was glad gym was the last class of the day. I was definitely not comfortable with taking showers at school, and from what I heard from many people, including a very vocal Nicole, I would need to shower before attending any other classes.

My comfort was somewhat restabilized by the fact that all of my preconceptions of what a gym teacher should be like were smashed by the gym teacher we were given. Mr. Brock, the admittedly well-sculpted, beaming teacher himself, practically bounced into the room jogging, and looked like a man straight out of a ’90s workout video. What looked like sun-bleached blondish short hair (despite it being near the end of winter), deep blue workout shorts, a sky-blue tank top, and a cheesy ’90s smile to top it off.

“Hey, gang.” He announced with a highish yet commanding voice. “Glad to see you all here. This is freshmen year men’s gym class and my name is Mr. Brock, your teacher. But I guess you guys already guessed that.” He paused to laugh at his own joke, if you could even call that a joke, and some of us joined in, either nervously or because we wanted to get on his good side. “Before we get into what we’re going to be doing this semester, I’m going to go over a few rules.”

A 20-minute discussion on deodorant, hygiene, showers and the importance of fitness followed, most of which I tuned out. I tuned back in when the words ‘keep in mind, this is important’ met my ears.

“Keep in mind, this is important – I know that some of you are beginners, some of you just want to get the credit, and some of you aren’t used to a gym environment. That’s totally okay, I realize you can’t push yourselves to the level of some of our more athletic classmates. That’s just the way it is. I’m going to be looking more for improvement than pure skill throughout this semester. As long as you keep up and push yourselves, you’ll do just great in this class.”

Yippee. To be honest, I hated gym class. I mean, I was a bullied stay-at-home wimp until very recently. We practically had doctorates in staying at home and not exercising. I’m pretty sure I got winded if I ever made a trip to the fridge too quickly. Still, at least the teacher wasn’t a jerk. The semester was shaping up to be a pretty good one.

***

“Great, that about wraps things up.” Phil concluded. “Megan, good job at putting up those posters before the new semester. Eli, well done at staying in contact with Mr. Williams. Jeff, make sure to get everyone hyped for the spirit week coming up.” The two shared a high five. “And to the lovely Nicole, great job at organizing the parent-teacher conference next month.”

Nicole huffed and raised an eyebrow at him. Phil saw, but didn’t react.

“Alright. Natalie, for next week you’re in charge of keeping our social media pages updated. And Adam, I expect a full report of what the kids around school think.”

I flashed him the thumbs up.

“Cool, you’re free to leave. Great job, everyone.” On cue, everybody got up and started to shuffle towards the exit. I felt a kind of buzzing sensation at my sides as if someone was grabbing me and jumped, realizing afterwards that it was Nicole from behind me, playfully pinching my sides.

“Hey.” She said, smiling. “Want a ride?”

An idea struck me. “Uh, sure, but can it be in a sec?” I asked her. The impromptu nature of my response made me sound nervous, and Nicole caught on. She shot a look towards Megan and turned back slowly towards me smugly.

“Sure, squirt. How long do you need?” She asked provocatively.

“Oh, hush.” I shot back instinctively. “Um, I dunno… twenty minutes?”

“I think you’re giving yourself just a bit too much praise there.” She winked, then turned around, sparing me no view of her ass. “Remember, you owe me.” She added as she walked away, exaggerating her hip movements.

I chuckled as she walked out of the room, but that laughter was short lived. Megan was actually not who I wanted to see. Walking up to the front desk of the room, I cleared my throat. “Hey, Phil?” I asked.

“Yo.” He responded coolly, looking up from some papers he was gathering.

“I…” I trailed off. “I wanted to ask you about something. Advice for next year, that kind of thing.”

“I’m flattered, my man.” Phil broke out into a grin. “Shoot.”

“Oh, well, I’m actually kinda shy about it.” I lamely replied. “I was wondering if we could have this chat alone.”

“Girl trouble.” Jeff snickered.

“Thinkin’ the same thing, man. Thinkin’ the same thing.” Phil replied, holding out a fist. They bumped fists and Phil returned his attention to me. “Sure, buddy. No problem.” He cleared his throat. “Alright, everyone, skedaddle.”

The few people left in the room packed up their things. Megan on her way out caught a glimpse of me shyly and waved. I waved back.

“Some girl, huh?” Phil commented as she left. “Is she the girl you’re lookin’ at? What’s your story with her anyway, weren’t you two together not too long ago? Y’know, after the whole… ‘in a classroom’ thing?”

“It’s a long and complicated story.” I replied, not daring to look Phil in the eye.

“That’s what they all say.” He smiled, punching me playfully in the shoulder. The room was empty at this point and Phil got up to shut the door. “So, what do you wanna ask?”

“Phil…” I waited until he shut the door to continue. “I don’t have girl trouble.”

“Alright, cool, then school stuff?” He asked.

“I lied. I don’t need advice.”

Silence filled the room, broken by a chuckle of confusion from Phil. “So then… Why did you ask to be alone with me? Are you taking over the council or something?”

“I want to talk to you about Nicole.”

Phil’s smile instantly faded. “What do you mean?” He asked with a slightly ominous tint to his voice.

“You two haven’t been really close lately, have you?” I asked him.

“Adam, I’m going to be blunt with you; this is none of your damn business.” Phil remarked flatly.

“Nicole’s my friend. I want to help you two sort things out.” I replied, trying my best to stand up to him.

“That’s cool, Adam, but I really don’t want to have this conversation.” Phil shot back. “Is that everything?” He asked, starting for the door.

“So that’s it? You’d rather be in this awkward situation and have Nicole want to leave the council, rather than stoop to my level and accept that a freshman might have some solid advice for you?” I asked bluntly.

He turned around to face me, clearly not amused. “This isn’t about you.” He simply said. “Nicole doesn’t want to leave the council, we’re just in a weird phase right now.”

“That’s not what she told me yesterday.” I stood my ground.

Phil cocked an eyebrow. “And does she know you’re telling me this?” Phil asked. “Would she be grateful to you that you’re talking to me about something she probably wanted to keep private?”

I hesitated, then fell silent. Phil’s goading hand forced me to speak. “No.” I finally said.

“So I don’t want this, and Nicole doesn’t want this. Sounds to me like it’s not going to be helpful.” Phil forcefully said. “I’m not the big bad guy you think I am. Whatever she’s told you, take it with a grain of salt, alright? Just let us figure it out with time. I know you starry-eyed freshmen think that the right words said at the right time will fix everything, but I’ve been around this school a lot longer than you. I know firsthand – some things can only be solved with time.” He chuckled to himself. “I actually used to be a lot like you, unless you’re pretending to be someone you’re not.” He straightened himself. “But still, this situation won’t be solved the way you think it will. And don’t worry – Nicole’s told me how she feels – many times.”

By now, Phil had sat down on a table, arms crossed and facing me. I stifled a grin – this is where I wanted him. Opening up to me.

“Hell, did you know…” He chuckled again. “Did you know that my brother used to date Nicole?”

“Really?” I feigned shock.

“Yup.” He replied, then shook his head dismissively. “Apparently he wasn’t the best kind of guy for her though. She wasn’t the same girl after they broke up. But after they did… She got this kind of confidence to her. It was like a side of her I never got to see before. Once I saw her come out of her shell, I used to ask her out, like, every week.” He smiled up to the ceiling in remembrance. “Hell, before recently, I thought I finally got my chance, you know. But then… I dunno. She just kinda drifted away.”

“Do you know when she started?” I asked.

Phil shrugged. “Nope, not a clue.”

I played along. “Well, I know that Nicole acts all tough and confident on the inside, but she’s kind of soft on the inside.”

“Yup.” Phil nodded. “It’s kinda cute when you have to work for it.”

“So maybe it was some kind of point of vulnerability for her, and you did something that’s totally alright in a normal situation, but she might have thought as uncomfortable.”

“Like what?” Phil asked.

“I dunno.” I shrugged, playing dumb. “Have you guys ever been in a really intimate situation?”

Phil coked an eyebrow, supplementing it with a half-smile this time. “We didn’t take any pictures if that’s what you want.”

“Yeah, but sex can be a pretty intimate and emotional thing, and maybe Nicole was taking down her defensive walls when you guys had sex and something impacted her or something.” I suggested.

“Adam, I’d tell you to keep a secret, but this is pretty much public knowledge – Nicole’s known for never keeping her legs closed.” Phil told me seriously, yet with his small smile remaining. “I think we can safely say that if we did have some kind of misunderstanding, it had nothing to do with sex.”

“So just because she’s used to casual, emotionless sex means that she can’t have emotional sex?” I asked.

Phil chuckled nervously. “Adam, this isn’t really the conversation I want to have with you.”

“I know, just hear me out.” This was it. This was the make-or-break point. If he denied this, I had nothing. “Was there a point where you guys were about to have sex, and she said no or something? I’ve heard from her that consent is really important to her, so that may be something.”

Phil paused, and eyed me suspiciously. “Where’s this coming from?” He asked darkly.

With attempted computer speed, I compared what Phil knew I knew in my head to what Phil didn’t know. “The kiss.” I finally blurted out. “Your first kiss with her, the one I witnessed, she was initially uncomfortable with it but then started going out with you. Maybe that led you to believe that Nicole views initiative and consent in a way that she doesn’t actually.”

Phil blinked twice. He uncrossed and crossed his arms. He fidgeted with his hands. Finally, he spoke up. “Our first time… was kind of similar to that. Like, she was playing hard to get, so like you said, I figured if it was good enough for our first kiss, it was good enough for our first time. But!” He uncrossed his arms and pointed up into the air. “She didn’t say anything. She didn’t complain. And that’s how we first became a couple. So clearly I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

“Is that when Nicole started being distant?” I asked.

Phil deflated. “Yes.” He admitted, then straightened himself. “Wait. Is this one of those bullshit stories where the girl wanted it but then after the sex she changed her mind so the dude became the bad guy? Because I am not a rapist.” His tone was gathering force.

“Don’t worry, relax.” I soothed. “I don’t think that was rape. It was a misunderstanding though. It just makes sense that that’s what she’s upset about.” Frankly, if it was sex Nicole wasn’t comfortable with from the start, it pretty much was rape, but I wasn’t ready to tell either of them that.

Phil fidgeted again. “Maybe.” He admitted. “But we don’t know that.”

“No, we don’t, but I mean, you want to be on better terms with her right now, right?” I asked.

He nodded. “Hell, I wanna be with her.” He added.

I ignored that. “Well then maybe we can come to an agreement. I’ll step off and give you two that time you’ve been asking for if you communicate with her about that. I mean, if it was your first time, you don’t really know if ‘playing hard to get’ is Nicole’s style in bed, right?” His silence answered me. I knew myself that playing hard to get wasn’t her style at all, but the last thing I was going to do at that moment was tell him that.

“Maybe from her point of view, it was a kind of rape.” He stood up at that and began to protest before I cut him off. “Which we both know wasn’t your intent.” He sat back down. “So in order for things to heal, you should straighten things out with her. You know, try to see things from her view. Then afterwards, you won’t have to wait as long before getting to see her smile again. Doesn’t it kind of hurt seeing her happy with everyone but you in a kind of selfish way?”

Phil begrudgingly nodded. “The kind of hurt you don’t even know yet.” He told me.

Sure, why not. “So will you talk to her?” I asked hopefully. “I mean, I want to see you two happy again. You can feel the tension between you two right now.”

Phil stood up from the table and thought it over, exhaling loudly as he did so. “Fine.” He conceded, before walking towards me. “As long as you can do two things for me.”

“Shoot.” I replied, happy that he agreed.

“One, I have no clue how good you are at keeping secrets. You can’t be that good since you went against Nicole’s word to tell me this.” Guilt set in. “So maybe your promise on this is worthless, but I still want to hear it from you. Do not mention a word of this to anyone. As far as you know, this conversation never happened. A rumor of an alleged misunderstanding of a sexual assault could mean expulsion and a criminal record for me.”

I nodded diligently. Aside from Nicole, I couldn’t think of who I would want to tell this story. Besides, I already kept the story about May tucked under my cap – one more secret couldn’t hurt.

“No, I mean it.” Phil insisted forcefully. “If I hear a word of this, nothing personal, but your life will become a living hell. I’ll see to it. I’m taking it on faith that you did this because you wanted to help me, but if you do anything to hurt me, I will not be hesitant in hurting you back.” He stared me down with fierce blue eyes. I gulped. “I’m a good guy, but I’m not that good. No one is. You have some serious dirt on me after I spilled my guts to you, and bad things will happen if you use this against me.”

Now feeling nervous as all hell, I still kept up the nodding. “I promise.” I said in a highish voice.

“Great.” Phil breathed a sigh of relief. “I’m sorry, and no offense. It’s just, you know… Not such a nice world out there.”

“I understand.” I flatly said. “What’s term two?”

Phil thought to himself for a second. “Oh yeah.” He said with a realization. “Two, don’t do anything like this again. I’m big enough to admit it – you helped me see a few things. In a way I’m glad we had this talk. But in another, I don’t want to see you for a month. Don’t go sticking your nose into other people’s private business again, especially when it’s this deep, alright? Be a good boy.”

The freshman helped the senior, I thought triumphantly. Again, I nodded.

“Great,” Phil sighed tiredly. “Anything else or are you good?”

“I’m good.” I said simply.

“Cool.” Phil nodded, then grinned. “Next week’s report had better be fucking good for this.”

I smiled back. “I’ll try.”

“It’s all I can ask.” Phil replied. “Now get the fuck outta here, and have a nice evening.”

“You too!” I said warmly as I gathered my things. I looked around the room as a precaution and noticed that Megan left her things behind – If I found her I would need to bring that up before I left. Phil stayed in the room for whatever reason, but I didn’t pay it much thought. Whipping out my phone, I pulled up my messages.

I’m ready to go when you are! I texted Nicole, then put my phone away, starting for the front hallway. When I got about halfway there, I felt my phone buzz in my pocket and pulled it out.

Shit, really? That was way less than 20 minutes… Give me a bit, I’m doing a few errands right now. If you want sloppy seconds, go for it.

I chuckled to myself. Strangely, I even felt a tad cunning. I managed to fool Nicole, of all people, who even just a month ago I considered psychic. I was ready to put my phone away again when I felt the phone buzz once more.

I’m not psychic.

Leave it to Nicole to prove my point for me, although I think the context was a little different than she thought it was. Smiling still, I put my phone away and started for the main hallway.

As the hallway came into view, so did Megan, perched on a bench, her legs waving back and forth in the ‘innocent little girl’ way. Upon seeing me, she stopped and waved cheerfully.

“Hi, Adam.” She said warmly.

“Hey!” I said back, moving in for a hug, which she certainly didn’t complain about. I sat beside her and out of instinct put my arm around her.

“You waiting for someone?” I asked her.

She nodded. “Matt.” She answered. “He’s going for his provisional license right now. If he doesn’t make it then mom will drive us both home, but if he does he’s going to.”

“Oh, cool!” I remarked, mostly out of support. “You excited?”

She shrugged. “Sure!” She replied with less emotion than I expected. “I mean, I’m happy for him, but he won’t drive me around too much if he gets it.” She chuckled. “I know him. He’s a little bit overprotective.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” I chuckled to myself. Megan giggled and shyly kissed me on the cheek. After pulling away, she checked around us to make sure no one else was around.

“You are so shy.” I laughed at her.

“I am not.” She fake-pouted.

“Are too.” I countered.

“Am not!” She protested.

“Then what was that dainty little kiss, followed by making sure no one saw such a philistine act?” I winked at her.

“We’re in a public place. I’m just being a lady.” She defended herself, then smiled half-shyly, half-devilishly at me. “I think we both know I’m not so shy at… Certain times.”

“Certain times?” I asked her, mocking her wording.

She tossed her hair over her shoulder over-dramatically. “I’m still a lady.” She said proudly.

“Yeah, fine, but you’re only like that with me. Around others, you’re still just as shy.” I countered.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah!”

“Is that so?”

“That’s so!”

“Really?”

“Really!”

“Well, that may be!” She said, confidence building up in her. “But I bet if I did anything with anyone else, you wouldn’t approve!”

I realized she was joking, but the realization that I really wouldn’t made me feel awful. “I do stuff with Nicole though.” I said, mostly to myself.

She caught on immediately. “Oh, Adam, I didn’t mean it like that…” She started.

“No, you’re right, it’s not fair.” I pointed out. “It’s a double standard. Do you want to do anything with anyone else?”

“No, Adam. It’s okay.” She deflated like a balloon.

“No really, I mean it.” I said strongly. “It’s only fair. Take me out of the equation. Would you like to try anything with anyone else?”

“No really, Adam, I’m fine…”

“I mean it!” I said assuringly. “If that’s what you want, I want you to tell me.”

“Really, it’s okay…”

“C’mon, isn’t there anyone?”

“Adam, that’s not the point.”

“I don’t hear a no…” I sang.

“Well… It’s stupid…” She said dejectedly.

“That sounds like you have someone in mind.” I said supportively, surprising even myself with how okay I was with the idea of sharing her with someone.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this?” She asked me, unsure.

I grabbed her hand in mine and slowly kissed her on the lips. “I’m sure.” I said warmly. “Now do you think you could tell me which lucky guy is on your mind?”

Megan chewed her upper lip adorably and fidgeted with herself. Finally, after a short sigh, she quickly and quietly blurted out, “Carson Carter.”

It would be Carson, wouldn’t it? “Carson, huh?” I asked.

She nodded shyly. “I have science class with him this semester, and I knew he was your friend from last semester, and…”

“You want to ‘know him better?'” I asked, holding up air quotes.

She nodded. “I love being with you, and you’re cute.” She defended me. “But Carson’s that bad boy, muscle-y type, and I’ve… I’ve never really been with anyone like that. The idea of him… It just… It…”

“Turns you on?” I finished her sentence.

“I was going to say it eventually.” She responded playfully. “Yeah, it does. Someone who has so much confidence and lives by his own rules… That’s really… Powerful. He’s been on my mind a bit, but… I don’t think anything will ever happen.”

“Don’t be so sure!” I protested. “Carson’s been around, I don’t think he would mind.”

“Yeah, but so quickly after a breakup? I mean…” Megan said in an unsure tone.

I laughed out loud. “Are you sure this isn’t just a way so you can get even with May?” I asked her knowingly, with a shit-eating grin on my face.

“Grow up.” She playfully pushed me. “It’s isn’t that.” I stared at her intently. “Well, I mean, I’m not complaining if that’s how things happen to be, but I wasn’t intending to do that.”

“I knew it.” I announced. “I knew it.”

“Oh, hush.” She pushed me again, then both of us fell silent.

“I’d be really nervous though.” She finally said. “I don’t even think I could face him or look him in the eye, let alone ask him for…”

“Say it. I dare you.” I goaded her.

“For… relations.” She finished.

“You’re a PG13 thesaurus when it comes to sex, aren’t you?” I asked her jokingly. “Well, tell you what. Let me see your phone.”

“Why?” She asked uneasily.

“It’s easier to say things to people over text than it is in person. Plus you can tell him you just asked me for his number. That would give him the message that you’re interested.” I reasoned.

“But he might think I want to be his girlfriend or something, and I wouldn’t be ready for that.” She responded. “Plus, isn’t it really cowardly to formally introduce yourself to someone over the phone?”

“Completely.” I replied.

“…Alright, fine.” She conceded, handing me her phone. I pulled out my phone and copied Carson’s number over.

“So what do you want me to say for the first message?” I asked her, my head buried between the two phones.

“Um…” She started. “Maybe something small, or something to grab his attention so that he’ll actually make me respond. Or maybe something big. Unless he gets girls messaging him all the time. I bet he wouldn’t even want to do anything with me.”

Rolling my eyes, I pulled up Carson’s number and began to text him.

Hey! This is Megan Schneider, and I’m in your science class. Your friend Adam gave me your number. I think you’re really attractive and was wondering if you ever wanted to fool around sometime. I’m not looking for a committed relationship, but you’ve been on my mind lately, and I really want to do things with you. In person, I’m really shy, but don’t let that fool you, I’m really interested in getting to know you.

“Aaaaaand sent.” I said triumphantly.

“What did you say?” Megan asked me, grabbing the phone out of my hands. As she read over it her skin turned paler and paler.

I shrugged. “It’s to-the-point, it’s true, and I know him – he prefers open people to beat-around-the-bush bullshit.”

“Oh my goodness, Adam.” Megan mumbled, her voice trembling.

“What?” I asked. “It’s exactly what you want, right?”

“I’m not that overt, Adam!” She told me, voice still trembling. “What if he says no? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself! I’ll die of embarrassment! I won’t be able to ever look at him a-” She was cut off by her phone making a beeping noise.

“What did he say, Megan?” I asked her knowingly.

She looked at her phone, surprise still painted on her face. After a bit of waiting, eventually defeat overtook her expression. “It… It says ‘sure, I’m down with that,’ followed by an invitation to hang out tomorrow at lunch.”

I didn’t respond, I just gave her an expression that all but said ‘I knew it.’

“Yeah, okay.” She waved me off, feeling comfortable enough now to smile. “I’m still nervous as… as heck.”

“Do you want me to tell him to keep it slow?” I asked.

“No, I don’t want him knowing anyone else knows about this.” She answered. “As long as you told him to overlook how I’ll act around him… I wonder if he’ll go for it on our first time hanging out.”

“Nervousness?” I asked her, holding her shoulder in support.

She looked down and bit her lower lip. “Excitement.” She said quietly, looking up at me with a small smile. I returned hers with a smile of my own, then leaned in to kiss her deeply. We remained there for some time, until I decided to up the ante and grab her waist to pull her into me, moving my hands south to rub up and down her thighs.

To my dismay, she pushed me away. “Not here.” She said with a smile. “Besides, Matt may be back soon, and who knows what he might say?”

“Do we really need daddy’s approval?” I asked sarcastically.

She laughed. “No, but remember what I said about how protective he is. He’d rip your head off if he found out that you had… intercourse with me, let alone if he knew you helped set me up with another guy.”

“We’d best not tell him then.” I replied, stealing another peck on the lips.

“My thoughts exactly.” Megan replied, then, uncharacteristically, leaned in to steal a peck of her own. “Speaking of, he should be here soon. I think I left my backpack somewhere, I’m going to go find it.”

“Oh, right.” I said immediately. “Slipped my mind. You left it in the student council office. If you hurry, Phil might be in there so you won’t need to find a custodian to open it.”

“Great, thanks.” She smiled, and hugged me. With that, she pranced off in the direction of the student council office, leaving me sitting alone at the bench. Out of instinct, I pulled out my phone and began browsing the internet mindlessly.

I had been at peace for all of ten seconds before I felt a sharp pain in my hair. Something was yanking me up from behind the bench. To avoid the pain, I shot up to my feet.

“You know what Megan said about ripping your head off?” Came a menacing male voice in my ear.

“Yeah?” I replied timidly out of fear.

“She was being kind.” I could feel Matt’s hot breath on my ear right before he threw me, releasing me from his grip and sending me sprawling to the floor. Before he could do anything else, I quickly got up and faced him.

“I don’t want any trouble, Matt.” I said cautiously, scared to see him.

“No?” He nearly laughed ominously. He was breathing so heavily that his shoulders were rising and falling. “I told you to stay away from her, and what do you do? You fucking sleep with her!”

It clicked with me that Matt must have entered at a point when we couldn’t see or hear him. “How long were you eavesdropping on us?”

“Long enough.” He answered simply, with a threatening voice. “And now if you know what’s good for you, you’re going to tell me a little bit more about this other guy you hooked my little sister up with.”

Internally, I breathed a sigh of relief. Matt hadn’t stayed long enough to hear either of us mention his name. “Matt, I understand your anger, really I do, but she’s being safe, and what your sister does is none of your business.”

Matt laughed a very threatening kind of laugh. “Adam, I didn’t come here to hear you talk back to me. I didn’t even come here for an apology. I already asked you to stay away, then I had to tell you. Neither of those worked, so clearly I’m going to have to find a new way to convince you.”

He was trying to corner me. Realizing this, I sidestepped a few times, but he just picked up his pace.

“What’s his name, Adam?” He asked me.

I started backing up. “He has nothing to do with this,” I answered in an increasingly smaller voice. I realized that he was backing me up towards the main entrance.

“Well, this certainly has to do with you,” Matt told me as the distance between us waned. “You turned my sister into a slut.”

“Well, is being a slut necessarily a bad thing?” I very stupidly countered. It was quite evident that the effect was more benign when Nicole was using that argument, and I soon found myself running at full speed outside the school doors with Matt basically on my heels.

I tried to make my way to the bus stops. The really late buses had yet to arrive and there had to be people there. I almost had reached my goal of getting within the sight of people before I felt Matt grab me from behind and pull me to face him.

“I promised to protect my sister from little creeps like you.” Matt sneered into my face.

The sense of inevitable defeat at the hands of him filled me with adrenaline, or as I liked to call it, that hormone that makes me bold and say incredibly stupid things. “She’s a minx in the sack.” I spat back at him, knowing the worst was going to happen anyways.

Dizziness hit me first, followed immediately by incredible rush of pain in my jaw. I stumbled to the floor, the fact that I couldn’t stand not even registering. My skin felt like it was on fire and my teeth like they were bending on their own. I laid in the snow, beaten but breathing. Matt stood there, his fist raised from the blow he just dealt me. “You stay the fuck away from her!” He shouted.

Believe it or not, this was exactly what I wanted – as I managed to stand up from the blow he dealt me, people waiting for their bus began to notice us and jogged their way over. Despite the pain I felt and the blood I could taste on my lip, I gave a small weak laugh of victory.

As I was waiting for someone to intervene, Matt closed the distance between us and launched his fist forward again – this time at my chest. He made a clean hit, knocking me straight to the ground. Hitting the ground hurt more, especially when my head hit last and my neck had to accommodate, so I stayed down, wondering why the hell no one was doing anything.

Then it dawned on me. No one was going to do anything. This wasn’t a school accustomed to fighting. These people were here to watch. They didn’t get to see fights often, didn’t know what to do, and wanted to see how this would play out.

“Stand up.” Matt barked. “Face me.”

I wasn’t sure if I could. I never got hit before, and even though I knew I hadn’t lost a limb or anything, the way I laid sprawled all over the floor made me feel like I was in pieces. Pain pulsated throughout my body; everything ached. When I tried to stand, or breathe, my chest refused and pushed back. I coughed.

“Stand up!” Matt ordered again.

Weakly, I gathered the energy to place my hands on the snowy ground and use them to prop myself up. Breathing heavily from my chest refusing to work with me, I stood up and looked around to see a small crowd had made a circle around us, apparently fascinated by our actions.

“I want the only fucking word out of your mouth to be ‘sorry.’ By saying that, not only do you promise not to do this again, you’ll also understand what fucking happens if you do.” Matt told me.

“I don’t think student council condones hitting people if you don’t get your way.” I told him weakly.

Wham. Right in the stomach. The world blacked out for a second until I found the strength to open my eyes again. I started gasping and found that I couldn’t breathe, only realizing seconds later that this must have been ‘getting the wind knocked out of you.’

“Hit him back!” One onlooker, clearly displeased with the one-sided battle, shout out.

“This doesn’t concern you!” Matt snarled. “Beat it, all of you!”

Naturally, of course no one beat it. As soon as I could breathe again, I stood up once again, even though I wasn’t expecting a different outcome.

“Say it!” Matt ordered me.

“Sock him in the mouth!” Another onlooker, a girl, advised me. A few fellow spectators cheered their agreement.

Whether Matt deserved getting punched or not was up for debate, but whether I would do it wasn’t. I stayed true to my pacifistic roots, standing there. “Well?” I asked Matt breathily. “A-are you j-just going to… to stand there?”

“You’re not going to put up a fight?” Matt asked me incredulously.

I shook my head no and stuck my arms out in the Jesus-on-the-cross position, mocking him.

“I guess that makes you both a manipulating sex-abuser AND an idiot.” Matt concluded, gearing up then hitting me again.

It became increasingly hard to keep myself awake. In my head, I started doing simple math equations. I didn’t have a plan – before, it was to get people to watch, but now they were, and they weren’t doing anything to help me. Wheezing and wincing from the pain in my stomach, feeling nauseated as all hell, I stood up again, even more slowly.

“Say it!” Matt ordered furiously. I shook my head no, and he dealt another blow to my jaw. I actually wasn’t complaining – another to my stomach and I would have been out cold. It hurt to move anything, even to blink.A thousand daggers had lodged themselves in my skin, and my bones were beginning to crumble. Slowly, I began to stand again, and to my amazement, the crowd began to cheer me on.

Matt noticed this too, and noticed he was losing the higher ground he deluded himself into thinking he had. Thinking on his feet, he asked me threateningly, “Does it hurt?”

Unable to even talk at this point, I wheezed and nodded.

“Alright then. I’ll give you a free blow. Come at me with your best shot.” He told me, dropping his hands to his sides. “Go ahead, hit me.”

I shook my head no. “I said hit me, you idiot!” He yelled. Still, I refused, bringing my hands to my knees and breathing deeply.

“Fine.” He conceded. “I gave you the chance. But if you’re not going to take it, it’s my turn.” He readied his hand for the next punch.

I knew I couldn’t take the next punch and I shut my eyes tightly. This was it, the end of the fight. I’d never been knocked unconscious before, but I guess there had to be a first time for everything. Pain continued to pulsate through me, and the more I thought about it, the worse it became. Luckily for me, I wouldn’t be able to feel anything soon.

“Stop!” I heard a commanding voice from the crowd, loud enough to shatter glass. Slowly I opened my eyes to see a blurry figure from the crowd walk up to the blurry figure I presumed to be Matt.

“What the hell are you doin’?” The figure asked him. I could barely focus on what they were saying.

“Something that doesn’t concern you!” Matt fired back.

“This homie ain’t fightin’ back. You can’t fight like this. It goes against the rules.” The figure protested.

“There are no rules here. This little bitch manipulated and fucked my sister.” Matt protested.

The figure paused, and I presume he looked me over. “You already beat him. You sent him the message. What good would this last blow do?”

“He already ignored me last time. He could easily do it again!” Matt barked at him.

The figure paused again. “Why don’t you let me talk to him?” He asked Matt. “You scram and maybe I’ll pretend I didn’t see this happen.”

“Not fucking happening.” Matt roared. “Now how about you get out of my way?”

“Maybe you don’t know who the fuck I am.” The figure coolly responded. I saw some shifting going on but I couldn’t see past my own welled-up eyes to tell. Either way, I could tell the figure made an impression on Matt. “Now get outta here.”

Wordlessly, Matt left after a big pause. I could tell every microsecond of that pause, he was looking at me.

“That goes for the rest of you too!” The figure shouted at the crowd. “Show’s over. Any one of you talk shit, I’ll find ya!”

I presume the crowd left as I adjusted to the fact that I was going to be okay. Upon realizing everything, I burst out crying.

“Don’t worry, lil’ man.” The figure said, coming closer. “It’s cool. It’s cool. Let it all out.” He guided me to the steps, where I sat down to catch my breath.

“Can you see? How many fingers’m I holdin’ up?” He asked me.

I looked, rubbed my eyes, and looked again. “Th-three.” I weakly answered.

He nodded. “Alright, tight.”

As my eyes gained focus, I saw the face a bit more clearly. Snow white skin, black hair, matching brown eyes, some stubble and a wispy mustache. “What the fuck,” I mumbled aloud. It was Pierce Jennett. Pierce fucking Jennett. The same Pierce Jennett who led a tyranny of bullying over me in middle school and singlehandedly made me change schools. “Pierce?” I managed weakly.

“What’s up, homes?” He asked casually.

“Wh-what the hell do you want?” I asked, trying to back away from him.

He just laughed. “I ain’t here to start shit. Get it together, man.”

“How did you even – I switched schools to get away from you! Why the hell are you here? How are you here?!” I asked, my strength beginning to return.

“Hey, man – chill, alright?” He asked me, looking at me seriously. “I go here now.”

“Why?!” I asked, gathering enough strength to prop myself up. “Why the hell would you do that? What, you have to pause your own life just to keep going after me? Why is making my life hell so god damn important that you had to come to my school?!”

“Seriously, shut up.” He told me forcefully. “Fuckin’ goof. I didn’t come here to pick on you. I got expelled.”

It took a second to set in, although it shouldn’t have really surprised me that Pierce of all people got expelled. “What for?” I asked.

“I got into a fight of my own.” Pierce answered me, taking a seat on the steps. “Kicked his fuckin’ ass.”

“What for?” I asked.

“The bird was talkin’ shit.” He answered. Did he seriously use the term ‘bird’ as an insult? “So I told him to step off, and it just kind of happened.”

“Will I get expelled?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Even if the school got evidence, you didn’t start it and you got several people sayin’ you didn’t hit him. If you wanted, though, you could probably file a report and get him expelled.”

As unusual as it seemed, I actually didn’t hate Matt. In a way, I kind of understood him. I didn’t like him, but the idea of expelling him, especially with what it might do to Megan, didn’t sit well with me.

“Anyway, right before they expelled me, for punishment I had to sit in a room with the guy for an hour and just talk. They had a video feed, but no audio. If we shook hands, we could be let out early. So I’m sayin’ to him, let’s shake hands and get the fuck outta here, but the guy didn’t want to. We got to talking, and shit, he was alright.”

“Like, not hurt?” I asked.

“Like, a cool guy. I felt like shit.” He answered, and turned to me. “Which brings me to you. It was like The Big Guy,” He pointed to the sky. “was giving me a chance to repent for my sins and shit.”

“Hence you breaking up the fight.” I concluded.

“Yup.” He answered. “This may be too little too late, but I was a fuckin’ dick, man. Let me make it up to you by giving you a lift home.”

I hesitated, long enough for him to notice. “I’m a changed man, Adam.” He assured. “You won’t be getting any more trouble from me. Don’t worry.”

If I were in any place other than mine, I would have been bouncing off of the walls at the closure I was getting from this. But given my current situation, that could wait. “Pierce, I’ll be frank with you… You made middle school hell for me. I’m not ready to trust you that much.” I managed.

“Tsk,” was the sound that came from Pierce as he looked off. “Shit, you will.” He said to himself. “In the meantime, is there anything else I can do for you?”

“I’m fine, thanks.” I answered him. “I think I just want to be alone for now.”

He nodded, and turned to face me. “Alright, man, respect.” He said, holding out a fist. I reluctantly bumped it. “I’m out then. Peace.”

“Take care.” I almost sarcastically said as Pierce flipped up his hood and started to walk away from the school. I didn’t care who he said he was, I associated him (and Isaiah, Thomas and Kenny to an extent) with my entire middle school experience, and all the anxiety, sadness and loneliness I felt during that period. A sudden turnaround wasn’t going to make me just forgive him like that. I chuckled to myself as I realized I actually felt angrier at him than I did at Matt.

Being alone for long enough made me realize that I was still in pain, and in exhaustion I collapsed on the steps, closing my eyes just for a second.

One blink. Two blinks. Before I knew it, I was completely out of it, feeling my head spinning and my soul sucked out through my chest, soon to leave the land of the living and enter the world of dreams. Right before I did, I felt something shaking me.

No. Someone. Lazily, I opened my eyes to see someone. Black hair, concerned expression, blue eyes… Nicole.

“Adam, what the hell?!” She exclaimed. “Are you okay?”

Numbness was pouring through me. “Oh, hey Nicole.” I mumbled calmly.

“What the fuck is this?!” She gestured around me. “You’re bleeding!”

“There was a fight.” I mumbled back, still not fully back in the world of the living. “Karate lessons didn’t help worth a crap.”

“Oh my God, you’re such an idiot.” She replied softly, eyes welling up. She pulled me into a big hug and just held me there. “Give it another few years, then maybe you can hold your own.” She added in a whisper into my ear.

“Until then, maybe it would help if you fought my battles for me.” I whispered back with a weak chuckle.

“Do you need medical attention or something?” She frantically asked me, still keeping me in the hug.

“No, I don’t think it’s that bad. I’ll be fine.” I mumbled.

She broke off the hug and stared at me straight in the face. “We’re going to get justice for this, Adam. I’m not going to let this fucking slide. What the hell did you do to get someone to beat you up?”

For some reason, I clammed up. “I dunno.” I mumbled.

“Okay…” She sighed. “Who was it? Do you know that much?”

“I didn’t get a good look at them once it started.” I partially lied. “My vision got really blurry.”

“So you don’t even know who it was?” Nicole asked. She took out her phone and I saw her pull up a note-taking app. “What hair color?”

“Blonde.” I figured just in case, I shouldn’t twist the truth that much.

“Gender?”

“Male.” I answered.

“Um… eye color?” She asked.

I looked at her with one eyebrow lowered. “Work with me, dammit!” She practically yelled at me.

“Nicole…” I started, feeling some strength return. “Calm down. You’re more upset about this than me.”

She nodded. “Fine. You’re right. I shouldn’t be asking questions like this when you’re in this state.”

“Nicole, I’m not in any state.” I protested.

“We’re going right to my house, and you’re going to lie down.” She told me, picking me up by my hand.

“Nicole, I’m fine.” I insisted.

“Please, just do this, okay?” Nicole asked with a surprising amount of fire in her voice.

I stared at her for a long time and she lowered her head, exhaling. Then she looked up. “Sorry. Fine. Make your own decisions. I’m sorry for pressuring you.”

“Nicole, that isn’t fair.” I retorted.

“What do you want me to say?!” She asked me, as if she was panicked. “I…” She stumbled over her words. “…I don’t want you to not be okay.”

It was my turn to pull her into a hug, even though this one was a softer, more gentle one.

“You ever gotten into a fight before?” She asked.

I shook my head. “I’m not even sure if this could even be qualified as a fight.” I told her.

“Why, did he beat you that badly?” Nicole joked uneasily. It was clear she was trying to put up a happy front for me at this point.

I shrugged. “You could say that. I didn’t hit him once. He even asked me to at one point.”

“Why?” Nicole asked, cocking her head.

“I’m a pacifist.” I reasoned. “I don’t like hurting people.”

“In that case, don’t get into a fight again. Seeing you like this hurts me.” Nicole replied, giving me a weak smile. “Come on. We’re going to my place.” She took my hand in hers and with a slower walking speed than usual, led me inside where we got my things, then headed out to her car. She turned it on and Queen blasted through the car.

“You and the ’80s.” I quipped.

“You and every fucking bad thing under the sun.” Nicole shot back. “I’d take listening to Queen over willingly getting the shit beaten out of me any day.”

***

The drive over to her place was pretty quiet, and after a fairly normal encounter with her parents (who didn’t even notice my condition), Nicole flopped me down on her bed, where I immediately passed out. I had no clue how long I was out cold for, and when I came to, Nicole had her back to me, doing something on the computer, shirt off.

I mumbled something indistinctly and she spun around on her chair. “Welcome back, squirt.” She said happily as she jumped into the bed with me. “How are you feeling?”

“A little out of it.” I lamely answered. “What time is it?”

“Around 8:03pm.” Nicole answered without looking at the clock. Out of instinct, I turned on my phone and checked. It was silly of me to doubt her – 8:03pm exactly. Wait. My phone.

“M-my parents…” I started.

Nicole cut me off with her hand. “Don’t worry. I already texted them and told them you were at a friend’s place. I don’t know if it was my place to tell them about today, so that’s all I said.” She gave me a friendly smile.

“I… I changed my passcode…” I said lamely.

“I know. 5632.” Nicole responded, then winked at me. “Tricky.”

I shook my head with a small smile and sat up on the bed. Looking at her open closet, I found her full-body mirror and inspected my face. Most of the swelling had gone down, and unless one was told to inspect my face for differences, the only thing one could see was the cut on my lip, and even that wasn’t bleeding anymore. In the mirror, I saw Nicole slither behind me.

“You still look handsome, hotshot.” She purred, kissing my cheek. She set her head down on my shoulder and sighed contentedly. I felt her boobs press against my back. Instinctively, I cranked my neck back, lifted her head and started slowly kissing down her neck.

“Even while you’re in this state?” Nicole asked devilishly.

“You know it.” I replied, shifting myself so I could face her. Nicole grinned as she put her hands around my neck and gave me a really enthusiastic kiss on the lips.

Smiling, I asked her, “What was that for?”

“I’m kinda excited.” She answered. “We haven’t really done this in a while.” She looked down and bit her lip. “I kinda miss it.”

“At least there’s no expectations I have to live up to.” I winked.

She smiled. “Who cares? I love it when we do this anyway. I… enjoy you.”

I smiled innocently for a second, then cocked an eyebrow. “What’s with the sappiness?” I asked her humorously. “Where’s that trademark Nicole sassiness?”

“Oh, shut up.” She replied jokingly as she pounced on me and pinned me to the mattress, wasting no time in peppering my neck with kisses.

“You know,” She said slowly and sensuously, “It’s not very fair that I’m the only one shirtless here.”

Smiling, I waited for her to get off of me and began to remove my shirt. I winced as I did so – the pain was still there. After a few unnecessary seconds of struggling, I managed to pull the shirt over my head.

I looked down at my chest and saw some bruising – nothing severe. I guess my body overreacted during the fight – after all, I had never been in a fight before. I figured I’d be good as new in a few weeks.

Nicole traced lines over my chest delicately. “Battle scars.” She said softly.

I moved my hands up to her breasts and began to caress them. “Lady pillows.” I mockingly retorted.

With a smile on her face, she rolled her eyes. “Mature.” She giggled, before leaning in to kiss me again. The kiss wasn’t casual nor was it enthusiastic – just deep, slow, and meaningful. Every time I thought it would end, Nicole would just pull me back in and kiss me again. Gradually, our kisses became more and more open before her tongue made the first move, playing with mine. I followed suit, moving my arms around her in an embrace. There we were, the unstable psychic and the anti-Muhammad Ali, lying together shirtless, tongues locked, lost in the moment.

Eventually we tore away from each other, stopping to look each other in the eyes. “Remember what I said about sometimes not enjoying having my boobs sucked?” Nicole softly asked me.

“Yeah?” I asked her encouragingly, forming a grin.

“This isn’t one of those times.” Nicole answered with a sparkle in her eye.

I needed no more encouragement. Immediately, I moved south and traced a line down her neck with my tongue, eventually landing at her perfect nipples. For now they were soft, but I was ready to change that. With hunger that surprised even myself, I give her right nipple a swift lick, followed by a sudden suck.

“Mm…” Nicole moaned softly. “No need to rush in, squirt. This isn’t a competition. You have all the time in the world.”

Taking her advice, I took the more subtle approach, slowly licking around her nipple, making her shudder. With my free hand I tired to mimic my tongue’s actions on her other nipple as my tongue traced lines around her right areola. I could feel both of them get hard within seconds of my actions, and knew it was time to step up the game. I slowly closed my mouth around the one nipple and gave it a slow yet meaningful suck. Right after, I twisted her other nipple in my other hand, earning me a coo of encouragement from Nicole as she mashed her breasts into my face.

Laughing internally, I kept up the pace, licking and sucking away as my free hand travelled south to her pants, undoing the button slowly and meaningfully. Nicole giggled devilishly.

“Aren’t we eager.” She murmured as she broke away from me and stood up off the bed. She reached down to take her pants off, but before she did, she grinned, shuffled up next to me, and started to gyrate her hips.

I smiled as I realized what she was doing. She smiled back and turned around, striking a provocative pose as she stuck her ass out at me. Taking the bait, I reached forward and smacked her on the ass with some force.

“Ouch.” She said playfully. “I think it would be much more effective if these pesky things weren’t in the way, don’t you?” She asked, teasingly bringing her pants down inch by inch. Driven impatient by her antics, I grabbed her pants at both sides and yanked them down. Laughing softly, Nicole kicked them away from her ankles and turned back to face me.

I could see that she didn’t shave since we had our last encounter. Her legs sported a decent amount of hair that gathered at the top, as if to tell me where to go next. I didn’t mind in the slightest – Nicole could look beautiful from any angle.

Clearly as impatient as I was, Nicole pounced again onto me, grinding her crotch into mine as her hand traced its way down from my neck all the way to my pants, undoing the button as effortlessly as I’ve come to expect from her. Without even waiting for me to stand up and do it myself, she pulled my pants down and off of me in one fell swoop that I swear wasn’t possible for humans to perform.

Nicole looked down and grinned. “Looks like someone’s already excited.” She whispered coquettishly.

“It helps when I have a girl as beautiful as you give me a lap dance.” I replied, kissing her on the cheek.

She giggled, and I swear I saw the beginning of a blush on her face. “Well then, hotshot, should we get to the main attraction?” She asked me sensuously.

“Just like that?” I asked.

Nicole shrugged and looked down between my legs. “I’m already as excited as I’m gonna get, and I want to save my orgasm for when I have this…” She grabbed my dick through my boxers and leaned in close. “Inside me.” She finished, whispering.

Well, that sure as hell convinced me. With a grin I sat up on the bed, removing my boxers as fast as I could. She matched me, never taking her eyes off of mine as she removed her panties, revealing her beautiful pussy for me to see.

It had been too long. Her trademark erect clit was looking me straight in the eye, daring me to make a move. Like her legs, she hadn’t shaved her vagina either, but I didn’t care in the slightest about that. This moment wasn’t about the details. It was just about Nicole and I, sharing this moment.

Nicole, sighing contentedly, lay down on the bed, fully naked, grabbing a breast in each hands and twisting her nipples. Biting down on her lower lip, she motioned with her eyes towards her crotch. “I’m yours, Adam. Take me.” She all but whispered sweetly.

“And I’m yours, Nicole.” I whispered back as I crawled forward, getting closer and closer until my fully erect dick with pulsing with anticipation and aimed right at her entrance. At the feeling of me pressed right up against her, Nicole instinctively moaned. “God, I’ve missed this.” She breathed, eyes closed. Not waiting for her eyes to open, I leaned forward to give her a slow, full kiss on the lips as I guided myself into her.

I grabbed her waist and pulled, watching as inch by inch, I began to sink in to her. There was nothing like a familiar feeling – just the right amount of caressing tightness, a warmth that enveloped me as I sunk in deeper and deeper, and a beautiful poetic feeling of what we were sharing being so right.

“Oh, Nicole.” I moaned without even realizing it.

“Mmmm…” Nicole responded, so focussed on what she was feeling she couldn’t even give me a coherent response. Slowly, I began to pull on Nicole’s hips, pulling myself out of her then pushing back in while remaining focussed on her angelic face. Over time, I couldn’t help but kiss those full, beautiful lips, as I leaned forth, pushing myself in further than I have before, and met her at the lips. We stayed there, lip-locked, even as I continued where I left off, picking up speed, causing her to grab around my back and dig her nails into my back.

Out of reflex, I retracted from the kiss and emitted a sudden, “Agh!”

Nicole loosened her grasp on me. “Sorry,” She softly said, still clearly in her own little world. “Still hurts?”

“Just aches.” I gave her a reassuring smile, but once I realized it, I was actually still hurting. I was just distracted.

“I’ll try to go easy on you.” She quietly replied.

Smiling at her, I continued, slowly pumping myself in and out of her, enjoying the sensations that only being inside Nicole’s pussy gave me.

“Ohhhh…” She moaned as I continued my efforts. “That’s so nice, Adam…”

Feeling more in-the-spirit, I started to pick up the pace, feeling Nicole’s body rhythm match mine as we shared a song in our body movements.

The feelings only enhanced as we continued and Nicole’s moans got more constant. Eventually my mind went crazy with lust for her and I latched on to one of her boobs, throwing subtlety out of the window as I flicked and sucked on her nipple. Nicole responded by cradling my head, occasionally mashing my head into her boob when she hit a high spot.

Eventually, just as I was getting into a good rhythm, Nicole pushed my head away from her now swollen nipple and sat up, forcing me to pull out of her. “Hey!” I protested, caught in my own lust.

Nicole just smiled devilishly and flopped around, getting up on her knees and wiggling her butt provocatively at me. “I just wanted to change positions.” She said with a mock innocence.

With my face turning from disappointment to excitement, I shuffled up behind her and ran my hand up and down her pussy lips, feeling both how wet she had become and her moans resonating through her body.

“D-don’t tease,” Nicole moaned, now fully anticipating my entrance. “Just go for it.”

“Mmm, I dunno.” I responded, teasing her. “I kind of like this.” Slowly, I inserted one finger, then another, stroking her with my two fingers in an increasingly fast motion.

“A-Adam…” Nicole moaned. “This feels great, but I really wanna feel you inside me.”

A third finger was inserted as I felt myself go in far enough to rub her g-spot. I stopped pumping and focussed on that, earning an audible ‘ahh’ from Nicole. Every time I flicked my fingertips over her g-spot, her body spasmed a little bit, and I enjoyed every second of my power over her.

“Adam…” Nicole moaned, more desperately this time.

Truth be told, I was aching to be inside her too, but there was no way I was giving up on the status quo I had acquired. “Not yet!” I all but sang, pushing my three fingers fully inside of her.

“You suck.” She hissed. “When?”

“When you say the magic word.” I replied, deciding then to go on a full-out assault, pumping my fingers back and forth with both speed and force, in and out of her.

“P… pl…” Nicole kept attempting, but failed every time. Each time she got close to saying it, I would surprise her, tweaking a nipple with my free hand or temporarily adding a fourth finger. “Please?” She finally squeaked.

Fair is fair, I thought. “Alright, if that’s what you want.” I replied back triumphantly. Sitting up, I grabbed around her, savoring the feel of her ass in my hands for a few seconds before I guided myself into her and pushed inside her in one fell swoop.

“Oh, god…” Nicole moaned as I pushed myself inside her to the hilt in one motion. Grabbing around her ass for support, I wasted no time, my goal now not to tease, but to give her the ride of her life.

As I thrust myself in and out of Nicole’s hungry pussy, I reached around from her hips to grab a boob in each hand. It meant I had to bend over her back, but it was worth it. I was leaving kisses all down her back as I drilled her, earning a mix of moans and coos of appreciation from Nicole.

There was an open road to Nicole’s climax quickly approaching, and I was fixing my miles between myself and there. “Oh, Adam, it’s building, I can feel it!” Nicole nearly whined as I continued pushing myself into her over and over. Her breaths became shorter and shorter, each one turning more into an audible moan than the last.

“It’s coming, I can feel it…” She managed. “It’s gonna be a big one…” I kept up my efforts, trying to make even bigger motions inside her as I filled Nicole in the most intimate way. Hey body starting to quiver, I heard her manage to plead, “G-go faster!”

“Why?” I asked in between thrusts.

“I w-want us to come together.” She managed to say. “Please, hurry and build it up! I w-want to feel you explode inside me, baby!”

Hearing Nicole make such a request certainly helped me on my way, and with a newfound effort, I grabbed onto her hips again and doubled my speed, focussing on my pleasure more than hers. After all, she was almost there and this what she wanted.

I could feel a spring being pushed down inside me, pressure gathering in between my legs, as if my whole body was sending its energy to one area. Almost on cue, Nicole groaned, “Please t-tell me you’re close… Can’t hold on much longer.”

“I am, babe, I am.” I moaned. I never had used the word babe before… It felt right. In the moment, I didn’t concentrate on that – I was too overcome with the sensations I was feeling.

“Hurry, Adam, please.” Nicole begged.

“A few seconds more…” I wheezed between thrusts. “Here it is…” I felt myself boiling just below the surface. It was here, and I knew it was going to be a big one – as I thrust a few more times, I felt myself erupt and I exploded inside Nicole.

“Oh, my, GOD,” Nicole moaned in breaths as she felt me filling her up. Her body began to quiver and her arms failed her, leaving her upper half collapsed as I felt a second, then third, spurt fill her up.

“Ohhhhhhhh…” She moaned satisfactorily, lightly pressing her hips against mine, savoring the moment. She breathed a few times, then quietly managed to say, “That was incredible.”

Gingerly, I pulled myself out of her, leaving a lot of my spoils still inside her, a trail of it slowly going down her leg. “You were incredible.” I told her softly.

Nicole whisked her head around to look at me and broke into a heartwarmingly genuine grin. “C’mere, you.” She growled cutely and flipped around, now on her back, pulling me in for a big hug. I could feel the wetness on her leg, but I didn’t mind.

The hug rapidly turned into a cuddle, one which we remained in for what seemed like hours. Every so often, we would change positions to whatever felt more comfortable. I was big spoon, then little spoon, then we ended up facing each other. I kissed her softly on her forehead and she giggled softly, then sighed contentedly.

“I like this.” She purred.

“What?” I asked her.

“This. Us.” She answered.

I grinned to myself. “You keep saying you don’t want one, but it looks more and more like we’re in a relationship.”

She playfully shoved me away and looked off to the distance. “Yeah, well, tough. No matter how much you want me as a girlfriend, you’ll just have to deal with it.” She said in a mock pretentious tone.

“I wouldn’t complain, you know.” I said seriously.

She looked back at me. “What? You and me?”

I nodded, heart in my throat. I didn’t think anything would actually happen between Nicole and I, but I would have loved to take a chance with her.

“You’d have to give up sex with Megan. And whatever you may have left for May.” She reasoned.

“I’d do it in a heartbeat.” I promised her.

She chuckled aloud. “Aw, how sweet. You have a crush on me.” She brushed her hair past her head dramatically. “Take a number.”

“Oh yeah? That often, huh?” I asked her.

“It’s the black hair, blue eyes girl thing. I got lucky in the genes department.” She answered. “Plus, I’m sure you noticed, I’m fucking awesome.”

“Yes, I did.” I playfully answered, scooting up to her and kissing her cheek.

“Oh gosh, you can’t do that now.” Nicole joked. “You have a crush on me. It’s weird.”

“We’ve been having sex for months. Did you expect me not to get attached to you?” I asked her, half-seriously.

“Don’t blame me if you can’t hold back your emotions in a no-strings-attached fling.” Nicole simply said, avoiding eye contact.

“Oh, so all of your flings are like this then?” I challenged her, moving her head with my hands, daring her to look me in the eye.

“I didn’t say that.” Nicole softly answered, a gleam in her eye. She leaned forward and gave me a slow peck on the lips. “But yeah, no relationship, thanks. It’s nothing personal, it’s just not very me.”

“Would you pick me if you were comfortable with relationships?” I asked boldly.

“Excuse me?” Nicole asked, caught off guard.

“Would you pick me if you were comfortable with relationships?” I asked again, word-for-word, with intent.

“Well, I mean…” Nicole began, flustered. “That’s not fair. You’re putting me on the spot. Like, I’m not comfortable with relationships in the first place, so there’s no way I could even answer that, because it’s not even in my thoughts.”

I could tell the subject made her uneasy for whatever reason, so I let it be. “Okay, sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” I said.

“Don’t worry, squirt.” Nicole smiled, though this one was a lot less genuine. Her smile was lost immediately as she looked down and scanned her eyes around the sheets.

“Something on your mind?” I asked her.

She looked up at me slowly. “I…” She began, clearly not knowing how to say what was on her mind. She shook her head, looked down, and caught me off guard with a small smile. “I know about the conversation you had with Phil today.”

“You saw?” I asked, turning a deathly pale as Phil’s threats replayed in my mind’s video projector.

She chuckled and shook her head. “Phil texted me, and wanted to talk, but made himself sound like the bad guy. I know him well enough to know if he’s being that aware, he needed help. And you’re the only one I’ve told about this, besides Mitch.”

“Don’t tell him you know I talked to him.” I blurted out, the comment about Mitch not even registering.

Nicole gave another chuckle, this one more uneasy. “Uh, sure, but why?”

“I promised Phil I wouldn’t tell anyone, even you.” I said, fear evident on my face.

Nicole gave a reassuring smile. “Okay. Mum’s the word, hotshot.” She smiled again then turned away from me, hopping off the bed and picking up her clothes.

“Did I make a mistake?” I asked. “Will this help you and Phil work out your differences?”

“You did a good deed, dumbass.” Nicole countered. “Maybe if Phil isn’t as dumb as I think he is, we’ll be able to co-exist.” She stopped and pointed at me. “But this was volatile subject matter. Don’t do this kind of shit again. This could have gone way south. Phil could have hurt you if he had a mind to. He could have hurt me.” The cogs spun in Nicole’s head and a thought hit her. “What happened this afternoon… That wasn’t Phil’s doing, was it?”

“No, no, don’t worry.” I reassured her.

“No, really, I need you to be deadly serious here.” Nicole responded quickly, more serious than I had ever seen her in my life. She climbed on to bed and looked me in the eyes. “If he threatened you if you tell, we can arrange to have you protected. I just need to know the truth. Do NOT lie to me about this. Was this Phil’s doing?”

“I promise, Nicole. This had nothing to do with Phil.” I swore to her.

“Okay.” She said uneasily, then leapt off the bed again, regaining her shirt.

“You know…” Nicole started as she put it back on. She gave a soft chuckle and turned to face me. “If you’re willing to work that hard for me to stay on the council, I guess I don’t really have a choice, do I?”

My neutral expression slowly turned into a huge grin.

“I’m really lucky I met a friend like you, Adam. You’re a really special guy.” She smiled warmly as she put her pants on.

“Well, I’m not exactly boyfriend material, but I’m still working on that.” I countered.

“Fuck off.” She gave me a wink. “Keep working on it for a few years, then maybe I’ll entertain the thought.” Now fully clothed, she tossed my clothing onto the bed. “And put a shirt on, you creep. This is my house.”

“Gee, shirtless in the Baker residence. You’d know all about that.” I retorted. In response, Nicole lifted her shirt, playfully flashing me before hopping onto the bed, joining me as I put my pants on.

“If I’m staying on Council next year, I guess I should shoot for the moon, huh?” Nicole asked, trying to generate conversation.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked her, more out of curiosity.

“How’s this for a headline: Nicole Baker, Council President.” Nicole asked, before grinning at me.

“Yeah? I’d vote for you!” I grinned back.

Nicole laughed softly to herself. “Actually, you wouldn’t be able to.” She said simply.

“What? Why not?” I asked. As far as I knew, council members could still vote in elections.

“Well, pairings can’t vote for themselves.” Nicole murmured, looking up from the sheets into my eyes. “How’d you like to run as my Vice President, squirt?”

My heart fluttered. Vice President. In terms of high school, that was pretty much a telltale sign of making it, especially to a student who just a year ago was a bullied nobody. “In grade 10? Would they allow that?” I asked her.

“I’m Nicole Baker. They love me.” Nicole winked at me. “If I asked them to run alongside a potato, they’d allow it.”

“Gee, thanks.” I sarcastically quipped.

“Oh, you know what I mean.” Nicole shot back. “So how about it, huh?”

“It sounds like fun, Nicole. I’d love to work with you.” I genuinely told her.

Our hug thereafter lasted a lifetime, as each of us held our future in our arms.

___________________

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