Being More Social – Chapter 16

When I got to the student council meeting, it was as if the negativity that was coursing throughout my body was some kind of atmospheric event that plagued the entire school. Even in my state of shakiness and numbness over what I had done, I couldn’t avoid noticing that the mood of the entire council had gone down. Nevertheless, instead of asking around before the council began, all I could do was find a seat and slump into it.

“You okay?” the concerned voice of Megan asked. I looked over to her, not realizing she was sitting next to the vacant seat. I frankly wanting to avoid talking to people, and clearly, choosing the location I went with was a big mistake.

“Yeah, just, last period was brutal.” I waved her off. “So who died today?”

Megan motioned to Mr. Scott, sitting at the back. “I don’t know what’s happening but it’s something big.” she said fearfully.

Yeah, real helpful, Megan. You really answered any and all questions I could have asked. I rolled my eyes and looked to the front to see a noticeably flustered Phil, pacing back and forth and occasionally making sure some papers were stacked correctly or something. Seeing him made me think of May, which gave me a pang of guilt as I pictured her distraught, betrayed expression, gingerly rubbing her face.

I looked away to Nicole, who was examining some pictures on her camera. I tried waving to her so I could capture her attention. She didn’t look back, but instead took her phone out of her pocket with her free hand and waved it back at me.

I followed suit and pulled my phone out, showing I got a new message from Nicole. Scott doesn’t want an alleged rapist heading the council. Go figure.

The sent time was the exact minute I viewed the message. Did Nicole send it seconds before I looked at her? She kept on impressing me with what I just accepted at this point were her supernatural powers. I looked back at Phil, who was fidgeting with his hands. So what, was Mr. Scott showing up to boot Phil? Seemed kind of… stupid.

I allowed my mind to wander, which led me to think of May yet again, which made me compulsively slam my hands down on the desk in front of me in a kneejerk reaction and take a deep breath. I wasn’t okay. Internally, I was shaking. I had struck another student. That went against everything I stood for. I felt truly and wholly disgusted with myself, ashamed that I would cause another person pain like that.

I was taken out of my headspace by Mr. Scott clearing his throat and standing up, slowly making his way to the front of the room besides Phil. He stood there for a few seconds, mumbling something to Phil, then looked towards the rest of the council.

“Good afternoon, students.” he began.

“This is Mr. Scott speaking.” I could barely hear Nicole mumble in her best Mr. Scott impersonation, which wasn’t half bad. If I wasn’t feeling empty inside I’m sure I would have given a chuckle.

“Now, as many of you know, this council has had its fair share of of disagreements and difficulties in the last few days.” he continued, unaware of Nicole’s interruption. “And as is customary in these sorts of situations, we like to leave it up to the people to decide these sorts of things once administration has done what it can. Now does anyone here not know about the situation involving this council’s president?”

No one said a thing. Not a damn thing. The silence hung uncomfortably in the air. I bet it hurt Phil to know that Scott wasn’t even mentioning his name.

“Okay.” he nodded after a while. “So in the past, the council has voted on whether they want to keep or dismiss the acting presi-”

“How can we be expected to have an honest vote if you won’t even release the findings of the police investigation?” Jeff piped up, practically jumping out of his seat. “If Phil is still here, that means he’s innocent. It sure would be cool if you guys would at least fucking say it!”

“Jeff, your dedication to transparency is appreciated, it really is.” Mr. Scott told him sympathetically. “However, police investigations like this one can’t be fully disclosed to the public. It’s just how it works. If there was another way, we’d be taking that option, but since there isn’t, a vote like this is the best thing we’ve got.”

“So are we voting on whether or not Phil did it? I’m confused.” Megan quietly asked.

“Thank you for asking, Megan.” Mr. Scott thanked her. He was the biggest politician out of all of us. “Given the events that have transpired, you all will be voting today on whether you want Phil to continue acting as your Student Council’s president.”

“Even though there’s less than a month left in the school year, and changing the chain of command would make things worse for everyone at this point.” Nicole dryly added, never taking her eyes off of her camera.

“Nicole, that’s enough out of you.” Mr. Scott said shortly. Clearly he’s had to deal with Nicole before.

“Why? Because I’m right?”

“Another comment from you and I’m going to ask you to leave.” he insisted, his patience thinning. I looked back at Nicole, who just shrugged in indifference. “Whether or not it’ll make things easier isn’t the question. You all have the right to voice your opinions on this.”

At this, Nicole raised her hand. Mr. Scott sighed exasperatedly. “Nicole, ple-”

“Isn’t there supposed to be another teacher here for these kinds of things?” She piped up anyway. “If we leave it up to you, and knowing you this’ll be a blind vote, how can we trust that you’re telling the truth? Not saying you won’t.”

All eyes turned to Scott, but he didn’t break a sweat. “Phil will be here. He’ll be able to see the results as clearly as myself.”

“So you mean Phil will get to see which of his friends are backstabbers firsthand?” Nicole replied coolly, never making eye contact. She was really trying to push her agenda here, especially considering I initially took her as the type to believe that Phil did it.

“Nicole, please exit the room.” Mr. Scott replied with as much chill to his voice. “You’re not welcome in this vote.”

“Systematically getting rid of pro-Phil votes, huh? I’m sure this was the kind of democracy the Founding Fathers died for.” Nicole muttered dryly as she packed up her stuff and left. Scott waited until she was out of the room, then continued.

“Does anyone else take issue with the way this is set up?” Scott asked, clearly hoping for no answers.

“I do like the idea of Phil not seeing the individual votes.” Eli commented. “I think we all trust you to be honest, Mr. Scott, but perhaps it would be best if Phil didn’t witness this.”

Mr. Scott nodded. “Does anyone have any objections?” No one answered, so Scott turned to the man himself. “Phil?”

“Yeah, it’s cool.” he answered flatly and tiredly. “I’ll go outside.”

“And…” Scott began, stopping Phil in his tracks. “…If Nicole is out there, no arguing, keep it civil, okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. I got you.” Phil nodded as he left, closing the door behind him.

“Alright.” Mr. Scott sighed. “As Nicole mentioned, this will be a blind vote. In a minute I’ll be asking everyone to lower their heads onto their desks so no one will be biased by their neighbor’s vote. I’ll be asking those who want Phil to stay as acting president to raise their hands, then the same thing for those who want him to leave. Do we all understand?”

There was a murmuring of ‘yes’ from the council, and Scott nodded. “Alright, could I ask everyone to lower their heads onto their desks?”

I did what I was told, and could see nothing but black. For the first time it occurred to me that this was a bit of a huge deal. This would impact the future of the council, how people saw Phil, maybe even his future. Supposing he did what he did, which I frankly didn’t even believe, did he even deserve this?

Rape is horrible. Being raped is horrible. If he did it, of course he deserved this. He deserved worse. Jail was too good for him. If he did.

But did he? Maybe I was biased given what May did to me. How she couldn’t take no for an answer. But… was she learning from him? Hell, did I have any place to talk, considering how I struck her?

Fuck. I didn’t know. I was taken out of my thoughts by Scott’s booming voice requesting, “Those who want Phil to stay as acting president, please raise your hands now.”

My hand shot up. I heard the rustling of clothes as other hands presumably shot up too. A few seconds passed and then Scott declared, “Okay, you can put your hands down. Those who want Phil to no longer serve as your president, please raise your hands now.”

I heard more rustling. I almost wanted to ask other people not to do it, to plead Phil’s case or something. I wasn’t too keen on being thrown out just like Nicole, however, so I kept my mouth shut.

After a while, Mr. Scott cleared his throat. “Okay, you can put your hands down.” he repeated. All of us lifted our heads, eager to hear the news. All eyes turned to Scott as he cleared his throat again.

“By a very slim margin, the majority of you have voted for Phil to leave his position.” Scott informed us, accompanied by sighs and quiet grumbles from the more vocal council members. “Effective as of next meeting, Jeff Swanson will be your acting president, taking on both his and Phil’s duties for the next month.

“This is bullshit.” I heard Matt grumble.

“Straight out the ass.” Jeff agreed more loudly.

“Could someone please go get Phil and Nicole to tell them to come back inside?” Scott asked, clearly ignoring the remarks from the peanut gallery. “Whoever’s closest to the door will do.”

All eyes looked around the room until they came to rest at me. Of fucking course… Mustering strength, I got up from my seat and trudged over to the door, opening it slowly. A giant knot formed in my stomach as I realized for the first time that I was going to have to tell Phil. I needed to look this guy in the eyes and tell him that everything he worked for in high school, whether he deserved it or not, was gone.

As I closed the door behind me, I found I didn’t have to after all. After seeing Phil wasn’t to my right, I found him to my left, quietly sobbing into Nicole’s shoulder as she hugged him. I had heard him on the breaking point before, but never fully crying. The sound of his crying was absolutely haunting, and I was stuck between being grateful for Nicole’s involvement and curious as to how their interaction went out here. Her head appeared from behind his shoulder. “It’s okay.” she told me darkly. “He knows.”

***

“Shoulders down.” Sensei Sparrow barked at me. “You’re too tense. It won’t do you much good in a fight if your shoulders are up like this.” She hunched her shoulders up in an attempt to make a caricature of me. “Got it?”

“Ous.” I responded. Ous. What kind of word was that? Probably a Japanese one, I guess, but it still sounded stupid. I pushed the thoughts to the back of my head as I continued punching, one after another.

Sensei Sparrow nodded. “Good job. You’re really coming along.” she remarked. “Work on your footwork next, it’s kind of messy down there, okay?” Without waiting for a response, she walked away, looking after other students. Like many lessons, we were expected to look after ourselves tonight. After all, a disciplined martial artist doesn’t need an authority watching over them to be diligently working… or something like that.

However, I was still a white belt, so I had the lack of discipline to be able to say, ‘fuck it.’ I lazily glanced around the room, distracted by anything other than what I was supposed to be doing. Some students were practicing katas, Sensei Sparrow was chastising another Sensei for something involving ‘body dynamics,’ and two brown belts were sparring in the corner of the dojo.

Nicole and Paul, to be precise. And they were really into it. Nicole appeared to be giving him everything she could muster, but despite punches and kicks coming from everywhere, Paul didn’t back up. Paul blocked everything she landed, then supplemented a block of his with a punch that didn’t hit hard, but clearly got her square in the stomach.

“Point,” Sensei… um, I think it was Sensei MacArthur who was watching them. I was never good with names.

Nicole had a visible scowl on her face. “This is such horseshit.” she complained, just loud enough that I could hear it.

“Did I hurt you?” Paul asked her with a concerned voice that was tainted with a hint of smugness.

“No.” she growled back. “I don’t get how this keeps happening.”

“I’ve practiced sparring ever since I first came here.” Paul pointed out. “You could do katas in circles around me, but I just have more experience in sparring. Is it really so bad that someone is better than you at something?”

“Shut up, you’re not.” Nicole hissed back at him.

“Guys, focus.” MacArthur had a surprisingly warm voice. This wasn’t like Salvador where it seemed threatening. It just sounded like the tower of a man wouldn’t hurt a fly. The duo said nothing more and got back to their corners of the imaginary ring, readying their hands. MacArthur made a motion between the duo like he was chopping wood with his hand, and the two were back at it again. Nicole flew a flurry of punches in Paul’s direction, hoping to intimidate him right at the beginning again. It didn’t work, as Paul dodged to the side and retaliated with a roundhouse kick which hit the mark.

“Point,” MacArthur shouted again. Nicole made an audible groan. “Two points, Paul. Winner, Paul. Shake hands.”

Paul was clearly trying to stifle his grin and Nicole was trying to do the same with whatever murderous expression I’m sure she had in her mind as the two shook hands. Her eyes said enough – even from across the room, it sent a shiver down my spine.

Sensei Sparrow coughed loudly, taking my eyes away from the two. I have no clue how long she was standing in front of me. “Come on, Adam.” she coaxed. “Stay focused.”

Yeah, I’m sure not focusing on punches was a greater sin than a clear lack of sportsmanship, but Nicole seemed to get away with everything, so maybe it was high time I stopped comparing myself to her.

The rest of class went pretty uneventfully. After it ended and we bowed out of the dojo, Nicole and I changed in the washrooms and made our way to her car, almost wordlessly.

“You know what would be funny?” she asked.

“What?”

“If you and I fucked in one of the washrooms.” she replied with a sly grin. “Like, in the dojo area. Wouldn’t that be a scandal and a half?”

I stared at her for a few seconds. “Aren’t…” I began slowly. “aren’t we not having sex right now?”

“Well, yeah.” she shrugged. “I’m just talking hypothetically.”

“Well I think you’re trying to enjoy the power you have over me a little too much.” I replied.

“Aw, is widdle Adam bitter because he’s not getting sex anymore?” Nicole fake pouted, winking at me afterwards.

“Well, not really.” I replied, bracing myself for the truth that was about to spill out. “I’m still doing stuff with Megan.”

Nicole was about to shift to drive, and stopped, leaning back. “Stuff?” she asked exasperatedly. “Like, what stuff?”

“Sex stuff.” I replied bluntly, then looked over to see Nicole facepalming. “Oh come on, Nicole, you can’t e-”

“Sure I can.” she fired back.

“You don’t even know how that sentence was going to end.” I complained.

“‘Oh come on, Nicole, you can’t expect me to just stop like that.’” she imitated me. “Spot on, right?”

“No.” I lied.

“And yes I can. That’s why I stopped with you. I wanted to show you how sex makes everything you see different. It kind of fucking ruins the point when you go and do it behind my back anyway, doesn’t it?”

“I didn’t realize you were my mom. Or my girlfriend.” I shot back at her.

“Well, keep living in that world, because I’ll never be either.” She told me. “You’ll never know how to be responsible with sex until you know how to operate with and without it.”

“And how long have you operated without it?” I challenged her.

She shifted gears and began to drive. “Well, my record is over fourteen years.” she told me flatly, and flashed me a grin. “Beat that.”

I chuckled. “Yeah, I think mine’s around there too.” Silence filled the air around us. “So what if I have sex, though?” I brought it back up. “Can’t I just be taught to make the most of my perspective or whatever while having it?”

“You still talk like a freshman. It’s not a good idea for you to be doing adult activities.” Nicole told me.

“Well, that’s condescending.” I grumbled.

“It’s also true. You think I wanted to stop doing it with you?”

“Then let’s just go back to the way it was before!” I protested.

“Oh squirt. You’re too cute.” Nicole chuckled. “But that way you won’t learn anything.”

“I’m not learning anything now.”

“And you have your own libido and Megan to thank for that.” She stretched her shoulders. “Just saying. Plus it’s a bad attitude to say you’re not learning. You’re constantly learning.”

“I’m learning that you can be a jerk when you wanna be.” I remarked.

“Don’t be like that.” Nicole replied, a small smile forming on her face. “You learned that a long time ago.” She and I shared a small laugh. “And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Just like how you can’t do anything about me and Megan.” I pointed out.

“Megan and I.” she corrected me before she even processed the sentence.

“Plus, I could always just take sparring lessons from Paul.” I grinned.

Nicole had a don’t-even-go-there smile on her face. “You fucking bastard.” she whispered to herself. “I mean, he’s a jerk anyway.”

“Well, you were the one lacking sportsmanship.” I replied.

“Was not.” she protested. “I have great sportsmanship. Just not with him.”

“You really hate the guy, don’t you?” I asked her. “This seems like more than a ‘he seems condescending’ thing. Did he like, do something to you?”

“No.” she flatly replied. “He’s just a jerk. You’ll see.”

I sure hoped I would, because as of now I definitely didn’t. “Whatever you say.” I mumbled.

“It’s been a long day, hasn’t it?” she brought up out of nowhere, as if we hadn’t just been arguing. “McDick’s?”

I chuckled. “Sure.” The more things changed, the more they stayed the same.

“Oh, and if you can resist it, I want you to stop.” she added.

“With Megan?”

“Not necessarily the ‘with Megan’ part. Just the sex. As hard as it fucking may be, just for a few days, just cut it out, okay?”

“I’ll try.” I uneasily said.

***

Megan screamed as I first entered her, allowing her a few seconds graciously before thrusting back inside her again and again.

“Mmm…” she purred, looking back at me as I claimed her. “Master’s a little on edge today, isn’t he?”

“Did I say you could speak?” I growled, slapping her ass hard before continuing to grip it. Megan grunted her approval, but understood her role and shut up. No sounds were left coming from her mouth except for the occasional muffled yelp of me pushing in further or picking up speed from my usual pace, which complimented the sounds of our hips slapping together quite nicely.

Eventually, I stopped, earning a moan of disappointment from Mean. Still knowing she couldn’t speak, she whipped around and batted her big brown doe eyes, asking me wordlessly why I stopped.

“I have an idea.” I replied huskily with a wolfish grin. “Bear with me.” As a promise of good things to come, I flicked her nipple, earning a surprised yip from her.

Maybe porn had warped me, but there was something I always wanted to try, and now that Nicole was ordering me around with what I could and couldn’t do, it just made me more adventurous. I don’t think Megan was exactly complaining when I grabbed her arm and dragged her to the custodian’s closet halfway through lunch, though judging by how her expression changed from slightly frightened to sparkly-eyed in anticipation, I didn’t need to her to voice her opinions to know what she wanted. Within minutes we were fucking, and thanks to the gym and karate, I think I finally had the physique to pull the following off.

I got down on my knees and coaxed one of Megan’s legs into my hand. During foreplay, I always loved to feel up her legs. It had been about three days since Nicole’s talk with me, and Day One of My Revenge Time (title in progress) was spent giving Megan foreplay until her eyes had rolled back into her skull, then leaving her with a chipper ‘goodbye.’ Needless to say, I got to spend a lot of quality time kissing up her legs, feeling them, doing whatever I wanted with them. I loved how smooth they felt, how much power I had… Being with Megan was an experience every time.

This time though, I pulled her one leg over my shoulder, then coaxed her other leg over my other one. My current positioning was awkward, but I was determined to make this work. Finally, at some point Megan caught on. “Oh Adam…” she breathed. “Are you sure? Are you sure you’re able to do this?”

“One more word from you and when we’re done, you’re going to leave here without me allowing you to clean up.” I growled sn response. I ‘allowed’ Megan to go to the washroom the last two times, even though the first time was only spent teasing her, and the fear of not getting that luxury shut her up.

Now both of her feet were awkwardly shuffled around my shoulders. “Now pull your legs in,” Instructed her as I gripped her ass with my hands, slowly standing up and preparing myself to support her weight.

It took an annoyingly long time and a few ‘okay, wait’s, but eventually, Megan had her legs locked around my shoulders at a height where I could easily enter her. Finally, I thought to myself as I chuckled out loud. “Ready, pet?” I asked her breathily.

“Destroy me,” she replied, just as breathily. “Nail me, make me your own.”

How could I turn an offer like that down? I I took my hand off of her hip to line us up and paused for effort, looking into her eyes and grinning. She met my grin with one of her own, albeit an innocent, sweet grin that almost made me feel guilty for what I was about to do.

With one motion, I pushed myself into her and just like that, I was fucking Megan right against the wall. No floor for her to stand on, no other lifelines, nothing between us and what we were doing. This way felt so much more intimate, more daring. I actually really liked it.

The mushy stuff never made me go any slower though. Never taking my eyes off of her expression, which seemed to be somewhere in between pained and blissful, I kept up my efforts, filling her in the way that she desired and craved.

Normally Megan was able to obey my demands for silence with ease, but I had to guess that fucking this way meant more of me went into her, because even after I ordered it, there was no stopping her surprised ‘oh’s and cute little moans, all of which just made me more excited to be nailing her right into the wall.

“This is… so… good…” Megan panted in between thrusts. “Adam… Oh, Adam…” This was interesting. I hadn’t seen Megan be such a chatterbox in a long time. “Adam… Oh my god, Adam…”

“You like that, pet?” I practically wheezed. “You like fucking like this?”

“Can we… do this… all the time?” Megan asked in answer, which almost made me laugh. I couldn’t afford to, though, considering I didn’t know if she would drop if I stopped supporting her hips. “Just all day… you and me…”

I grinned and continued my nonstop assault on her, making her spasm and squirm all over the place. If I had known that Megan would love this half as much as she did, I would have done this a long time ago. It almost brought us back to the first time we did it, minus all the drama afterwards.

“Kiss me…” she begged. “Please?” She was bouncing all over the place, allowing her body to ragdoll as I continued pumping in and out of her. Chuckling inwardly, I leaned forward and without making things too awkward, planted a full kiss on her lips. I found out very quickly that we could make out with me still being inside her after instinct took over and during the kiss my tongue played around her lips and occasionally darted in and out of her mouth. I kept up my rhythm as we passionately kissed and was tempted o move my hands up to her neck as we shared our slow moment.

I didn’t want to pull away, but since cramps started to become a prominent issue as we stayed in that position, I did and we went from a sweet, tender moment to animalistic sex all over again. Megan went back to her moan-panting and I went back to attempting to make my speed rival my depth as I entered her again and again. Every thrust made her squirm more, every push made her feel warmer and wetter, every meeting of our hips increased the euphoria between us two.

Either Megan was in a mood or she definitely liked this position, because her skin felt noticeably hot to the touch. The combination of hotness and smoothness was addicting and soon my one hand was moving around her body in a desperate attempt to grab, feel, and have her all to myself as I continued my efforts, albeit a bit slower. No matter how much I attempted to be as rough and carnal as I wanted with her, Megan had this inherent cuteness to her that made not stopping and admiring how adorable she was a chore.

Even in the midst of our act, I had to shake my head and come back to my senses. Was I getting… feelings for her? This late in the game? I knew she was developing feelings for me, but… I felt like she was a child, frankly. I felt like I had a responsibility to be the adult, to… well, I really didn’t know why ‘being the adult’ meant being the more cold and emotionless when it came to sex. Blame Nicole, or something. At any rate, as adorable as Megan was, I didn’t want to be developing feelings for her. I hadn’t yet, and I knew it would complicate things. This definitely sounded bizarre coming from her ex-boyfriend, but I couldn’t let it happen.

Luckily, just as things became complicated in my head, Megan’s moans started turning higher and more desperate. I silently thanked her God as I gained in speed, coaxing her climax and more importantly, the end. At this point, it frankly didn’t even matter if I got off. Plus, with all the ‘practice’ I was getting, it was actually getting harder to even climax during these meetings at all.

“Adam…” Megan panted, right on cue. “I’m… I’m…”

“I know, baby girl.” I moaned back. “Do it, cum for me…” I sped up and thrust in deeper, whatever I could do to stimulate her.

“I’m… I’m gonna do it…” she continued panting. “I’m gonna cum for Master… Thank you… oh, thank you…” Her moans turned to squeals as a flash of heat, noticeable by touch, flowed through her and she shivered. She would have screamed, I’m sure, but she had learned to be a good girl, and one of the requirements was controlling your screams so no one would become curious as to why there were screams of ecstasy coming from the custodian’s closet during lunch.

As she reached her orgasm, I thrust once more inside her and let her move around on me, enjoying the situation by herself, as had become customary. Once she was done, she lazily opened up her eyes and grinned at me. I felt her pussy loosening on me. Stick a fork in her, she’s done. “That was so great.” she quietly told me. “I love doing this with you so much.”

“Don’t lie.” I smirked, giving her a kiss on the cheek. “You like doing this with everyone.”

“Don’t put yourself down like that.” she insisted as I got on my knees, allowing her to stand. “You have special qualities. You’re going to make a girl very happy someday.”

“Are you guilt-tripping me?” I asked with a sly smile on my face, standing back up now that I had let her go.

“No, I didn’t mean it like that.” she huffed. She tried to formulate another justifying sentence, but just sputtered. At the end, all that came out was, “I’m sorry.”

“Because it’s a little too coincidental that you mentioned that you loved me just a bit ago, and now you’re telling me about a futu-”

“You’re pushing your luck.” Megan informed me, 100% serious.

“Right, sorry.” I stepped back.

“All I mean is that you’re a great lover.” she continued. “I’m happy that you’re going to treat someone really well someday. If it’s not right now and me, I can take it.” A smile formed on her face. “As long as we can keep doing this.”

I pretended to think about it. “I don’t see why we can’t.” I replied as she pulled up her pants. She responded by moving forward and kissing me on the lips. As we shared the kiss, my arms moved on their own to embrace her. They eventually wound up around her neck as our kiss became even more tender, even more loving. A rush of pleasure flowed through me, a wave I didn’t even feel during the sex. My body almost went limp at that moment. I found myself unable to concentrate on anything other than her, other than us.

My eyes fluttered open, as did hers as we ended the kiss, in some kind of poetic harmony. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Even in the sweaty afterglow of sex, her golden flowing hair was still heavenly, framing her face perfectly. Her big brown eyes absolutely sparkled, and as a small knowing smile formed on her face, they began to dance, encouraged by her mouth’s movements. There was nothing about her face that didn’t seem purposefully sculpted to bring the whole thing together, to make her seem, in the moment, out-of-this-world beautiful. I was entranced. I was captured, hook, line and sinker.

“I love you.” she whispered delicately.

But I wasn’t stupid. I knew there were limits. I knew what I was supposed to say and more importantly, what I wasn’t. I was smart.

“I love you too.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake… that wasn’t my voice, was it? I looked down at Megan’s face, trying to hide the panic on my face, and saw her smile widen. No, stop that, I thought. Quit it, quit smiling. I didn’t just say that.

It was kind of too late to say, “Oh, but just in a friends that fuck way” like a jackass. I had kind of just boned myself. Hell, I couldn’t even run away, considering our arms were still wrapped around one another. God dammit, I was so stupid.

Megan giggled like a schoolgirl in my arms and hugged me tighter, burying her face in my shoulder so she couldn’t see my nauseated glare into space. After a while, the hug subsided and she took to the ground to grab her bra and shirt. “So what do you have next period?” she asked me.

“Anton is going over the Civil Rights Movement.” I answered. “You?”

“Probably just more To Kill a Mockingbird.” she said, putting her glasses back on and blinking rapidly. “It’s going to be boring without you there.”

“Yeah, we can’t fuck in the back of the classroom or anything.” I replied sarcastically.

“Would if we could.” Megan replied, grinning. “Are you leaving first or should I?”

“Uh, let’s make it you.” I answered. “Anton knows I can be late at this point. It’ll get us into less trouble all around.”

“Suits me.” she replied chipperly, giving me a small kiss on the cheek before opening the door, looking around cautiously, and breathing a sigh of relief. It was a miracle and a half no one had caught us yet.

***

“When I said ‘no having sex this week,’ I should have clarified: that does include lunchtime quickies with Megan in the custodian’s room.” Nicole huffed out of nowhere as she started the car.

I choked on the water I was drinking, earning a chuckle from her. “Yeah, go ahead, act surprised.” she added smugly.

“How…?” I began.

“You’ve been doing it Wednesday and Thursday too, haven’t you?” She flipped her hair back over hear head. “On Wednesday you had a hint of sex smell to you. Thursday your hair was all messy. I figure you wouldn’t have stopped today. For shit’s sakes, Adam, when I ask for you to stop having sex I didn’t realize it’s like slaying the Gorgon. Do you have an addiction?”

“Coming from you?!” I spat back.

“Aren’t I the foremost expert?” she asked with a wink. “Are you at least getting that this is making for some really weird situations? And don’t just say yes because you think I want to hear it.”

“Yes.” I admitted.

“Like what?”

“That’s private information.” I pouted.

“Yeah, and I won’t really believe you unless you spill the beans, so it ain’t private no more.” Nicole added spicily, pulling out of the school’s parking lot.

I shifted uneasily in my seat, earning a chuckle from Nicole. “Am I not allowed to keep some things to myself?” I asked finally.

“I’ve been fully public with you.” she shrugged.

“Yeah, but you’re more comfortable with that. I’m a different kind of person than you.” I retaliated.

“Yeah?” she asked me, genuinely puzzled. “I thought we’re pretty similar. How are we different?”

Really? How?! “Similar?” I asked incredulously. “Where do I start? You’re super smart, super pretty, super popular…”

“It’s a hard life.” she interrupted dryly.

“You have way more confidence and you have way more experience.”

“Experience?” she asked me. “What do you mean, like sex?”

“Well, not just that. Like, you’ve been in situations before and you know how to deal with them and stuff. You know how to be public. I really don’t.”

“Well this year you’ve been getting better with that kind of stuff.” Nicole argued. “So it’s pretty similar.”

“No it’s not! You’re all cool with the sex talk but without you I’d still be helpless talking about my problems.”

“Oh, okay.” Nicole slowly said, understanding me. “So you’re saying given the situation you’re in, on your own things would be more difficult and you’d be in over your head?”

Finally, she was understanding my feelings. “Exactly, thank you.”

“So your actions are putting you in situations you can’t handle on your own.”

Oh, fuck you.

“So when you disobey me and go have sex anyway, you’re only making things unbearable for yourself to the point where you have to run to others. AKA, you’re just proving my point.”

“Were you planning that from the beginning of this conversation?” I asked, head hanging.

“Pretty much.” she replied, grinning.

“I should never trust you again.” I grumbled.

“Saying ‘never’ is stupid, squirt. Especially with me.” she flashed me another grin. “I’m only doing this for you anyway.”

“You’ve been ‘doing this for me’ for like six whole months now.” I replied. “If you want me to be independent, quit bossing me the fuck around.”

“I could choose to be very offended at that. You’re being really rude.” she told me sternly.

I sighed exasperatedly. “It sometimes feels like my feelings don’t matter as much as what you think my feelings are. It’s not enough that you know I’m upset, you have to be right about why I am. I have to be happy on your terms. Every time I’m sad or something, you have to figure out why and if you don’t, you have to explain to me why. I get that sometimes I don’t know my own feelings, but sometimes I do, and you don’t really respect that. Just because you’re two years older than me doesn’t mean you’ve lived through everything I have, or like, every feeling I’ve felt. I’d appreciate it if you listened to how I feel more instead of presuming all the time.”

Nicole didn’t say anything during my entire rant. She just listened without interrupting. When it was clear I had finished, she pulled over to the side of the road, shifted the car into park, and undid her seatbelt.

“Okay.” she told me quietly with a small smile, then moved in to hug me. I went from sad and lonely to happy and feeling appreciated, all while embracing the most important girl in my life. I was very happy. It almost felt rare at this point, with all the shit going on around me. It didn’t even register that my face was moving to meet hers, or how close our faces became, or when I started kissing her.

It sure as hell registered when she was kissing back, though. It suddenly became very apparent what we were doing. My mind rewound to the point where we shared an innocent kiss, then sped up to the point where we were now, which in fact was making out like lovers that hadn’t seen each other in years.

And of course I had to screw it up. In the moment, my mind was turned off, everything rational was thrown away. Not only was my mouth moving of its own free will, so too were my hands. It was after my left hand travelled up her body and enclosed around one of her amazing boobs, giving a soft squeeze, when Nicole swiftly pushed me away with a sharp, “No!”

Both of us sat there in silence for a few seconds before Nicole cleared her throat and moved back into optimal driving position.

We drove for a few minutes before I decided to say something. “Sorry.” I piped up.

“Ugh, the awkward silence is over.” she complained to herself as she continued driving. “I was hoping we could go for the rest of the drive without saying a word then forget this a few weeks later.”

I could tell she was joking to try to make the situation a little better. “I pushed too far.” I continued.

“Oh, stop.” she shut me up. “It’s as much my fault as yours. If you have to come to me to respect your feelings, let’s start by not pinning everything easily pinnable on you, ya wimp.”

“So… was that something? Is… are we…” I stumbled over my words, hoping for the best.

“I’m not about to bone you right here and now, no.” she answered with a chuckle. “You caught me at a weak point.”

“That makes me feel like I took advantage of you.” I nervously pointed out.

“Fair point. We both took advantage of underlying sexual tension and we both had a moment of weakness following a sweet moment. Better?” She took her eyes off of the road for a second to smile at me.

“So you want it too?” I asked excitedly.

“Oh my god, squirt, I swear you’re the dumbest being on the planet.” she blurted out. “Of course I fucking want it. You know that I want it. I’ve always wanted it.”

“So then why do you hold back?” I eagerly asked, nervously eyeing the road. My house was really close, and as soon as I had to get out of the car, the moment of vulnerability would be over and we’d drop this conversation like a hot potato.

“Why the fucking shit do you think I hold back?” she asked, with a little too much ferocity for me to continue thinking this was a good thing. “I’m wanting it too much. I’m opening up to you. My emotional walls are coming down, and I don’t want that. I’m scared of being that close to you, squirt. I’m sorry, I don’t want to be. It’s nothing personal, but I really don’t want to be. I’m not ready to be close to human beings right now. I just want to remain that one girl people admire from afar. I can’t… I’m not ready to handle it right now. There’s just a lot of… Like, no. It’s not going to happen. This…” she gestured between us. “…is never going to happen. I need you to stop pretending it ever will.”

“But why?” I asked. “If you want it, what’s the harm in just accepting it?”

Nicole pulled into my driveway, put the car into park, and sighed as she leaned back. “Pretend…” she began with an unsteady voice. “Pretend you fucking love chocolate. Like it’s the best thing you ever ate. You love it, you love eating it so much. You with me?”

“Yeah…” I began slowly.

“Now picture that somewhere down the line, you got an allergy to it.” she continued. “You still enjoy it just as much, but it hurts you. It’s not like the hurt is preventing you from enjoying it, but it just hurts too much. A part of you is screaming for more chocolate, and another part of you never wants you to touch it again. Your stomach or whatever can’t take it. And it’s not something you can control. So just because you want chocolate, doesn’t mean you can just eat it.”

“So, me being around you…”

“Not really being around me.” she cut in. “Being intimate with me.”

“Me being intimate with you… hurts you?”

A haunting silence filled the car. Nicole remained unmoved for a good ten seconds, at least, before she spoke.

“Yeah.”

I nodded slowly, and let the silence pour back into the empty space. A concoction of awkwardness, sadness, and subtle anger from both sides swam through the silence as we both stared straight ahead. After a while, the car clicked to indicate the doors were open. I looked at Nicole. Her hand was on the ‘unlock car door’ button. I sighed.

“I thi-”

“Not now. Please.” her voice begged, eerily still.

I sighed and nodded. Undoing my seatbelt and grabbing my backpack, I gave Nicole one last glance as I shut the door. Her face showed nothing, as if she was just staring at a blackboard during class. As soon as I shut the door, the car became alive, pulling back out of my driveway. I could have followed the car back to her house with my eyes, but I just didn’t have the energy. I just trudged inside the front door, content to just kick off my boots and lay down on the couch.

I passed by mom, who was still working on the computer, before I did so, out of politeness. She had her headset on, so I only waved. Upon seeing me, she took her headset off.

“Hi, sweetheart.” she warmly greeted me. “How was your day?”

I chuckled. “Long. Yours?”

“Same old. Work is work. Are you hungry?”

I knew where this was heading. Mom always did like to baby me. “Mom, I’m 14. I can get something by myself.”

“Well, I know, but if you’ve had a long day the least I can do is help you feel better.”

I sighed and scratched the back of my head, the universal sign for ‘I’m too proud to say ‘yes mom do that,’ and too much of a freeloading pansy to say no and make it myself.’ Mom got out of her chair, took her headset off, and started walking to the kitchen with me in tow.

“Aren’t you still working?” I asked.

“I’m on break.” she answered. “Does a grilled cheese sound nice?”

“Sounds fucking perfect.” I answered bluntly, then covered my mouth. “Sorry.”

Mom wasn’t mad. She just had a surprised look with a hint of humor, the kind of face one makes when they say ‘Oh really?’ “Someone in this household sure is growing up.”

“Yeah?” I asked, plopping down on the couch. “Who would that be?”

“Well it certainly isn’t dad.” she joked, getting some cheese out of the fridge. I closed my eyes as she continued. “So why was your day so long?”

“Just things.” I answered.

“Ah, just things.” She repeated, mocking me.

“Well…” I continued exasperatedly. “It’s just stupid teenager things.”

“If it’s making you feel stressed, it’s not stupid.”

“Yeah, I know, but it’s not stress so much as… I just have a crush on Nicole.”

“Aw, Adam! That’s lovely.” mom said sweetly. “Does she make you happy?”

“Yeah, but that’s where the stupid teenager stuff comes in.” I continued. “She’s not exactly available.”

“Does she have a boyfriend?”

“No! No, nothing like that.” I practically sputtered. “It’s just that she has a lot of… baggage. It’s just like… I don’t want to say ‘it can never be’ because that’s too dramatic, but…”

“She’s just not ready for a relationship right now?” Mom filled in the gaps.

“Something like that, yeah.” I nodded. “I just feel kind of pathetic and small.”

“Aw, sweetheart.” Mom sympathized. “There’s no need to feel pathetic. Nicole obviously cares about you very much. If she’s not ready, that’s just a feelings thing, not an issue of you being ‘not enough’ or anything.”

“Yeah, I get that.” I nodded again. “It’s just one thing to know it, and another to feel it.”

“You understand things deeply, you know that?” mom asked as she brought me my plate.

“Oh c’mon.” I retorted as I sat up, taking the plate. “Thanks. I understand things normally. You’re just saying that because I’m your son.”

“It is my job to keep you feeling happy and confident.” mom admitted. “And fed, don’t forget fed.”

“Thanks.” I repeated. “I mean, even if I understand things better this year, that’s completely thanks to Nicole. She’s really opened me up this year, and made me see things I couldn’t.”

“Yes, I can understand that.” mom nodded, sitting down next to me. “Stoners don’t have the best reputation, but they definitely are known for their unique perspectives.”

I tried my best to stifle my laugh. “She’s definitely unique.”

“So where does your friendship with her go from here?” she asked.

“It’s probably not going to change.” I admitted. Nor is it going to change back to what it was, I bitterly thought to myself, but that was my Nicole-starved sex drive speaking. She definitely spoiled me. Megan was great, and she definitely was more eager, but there was a certain… flavor to Nicole that I got addicted to. I wanted to be inside her, to please her… hell, just to hold her.

“Isn’t that a good thing?” mom asked, smiling. “At least you still have what you have. I’m sure you’re grateful for that.”

I’d like to say I was a good boy, to say I was grateful for what I had. But I was a teenage boy, of course I wasn’t. I wanted more.

***

To say that the following Monday was weird would have been an understatement. There was no question that Jeff wasn’t ready to take on a leadership position. Even before the council began he was mumbling, checking things over with other council members, pacing back and forth… I guess I should have been glad he found Room 203 in the first place.

He sure as hell wasn’t doing a good job of controlling the place. In one corner, Natalie and Eli were arguing something about a budgeting issue, and in another, Tina and Matt were headlocked in a debate about how the hierarchy in student council had changed. It was like something out of a comedy movie. To complete the set, almost centered in the room, sat Nicole, playing with her camera and singing.

“Nobody knows, the trouble I’ve seen…” she sang in a pitch-perfect voice that would have earned her Simon’s approval any day. “Nobody knows my sorrow…”

“Nicole.” I practically had to shout over the crowd.

“Oh hey.” she said casually as I approached. She held up her camera so I could see the screen. “What do you think, number one or number two?”

She showed me two different shots of the school hallway with students in them. Both of them were framed frustratingly perfectly. They both could have been used for any old yearbook shot. It was impossible to pick one amongst the two.

“Number one.” I answered after picking a random number in my head. “What’s going on here?”

She glanced around her and shrugged. “Politics at work.” she answered.

“Can’t Jeff do something about this? Wasn’t the meeting supposed to start two minutes ago?” I asked.

“Of course he can’t.” she answered. “That’s reason like fifty-seven why firing Phil was stupid. He’s hopeless. He’s good at what he did, but not anymore.”

“Who’s the new VP then?”

“He is.” she sighed. “He’s taking on the roles of both. Hence why nothing is freaking getting done.”

“Well, can something be done about the noise at least?” I asked exasperatedly.

She sighed again. “Fine. Don’t say I never did anything for you, squirt.” She lazily got up, letting the camera dangle around her neck, and walked to the front of the class. She passed Jeff, took the heaviest book she could find off of the wall, and promptly threw it down on the desk in front of Jeff with a deafening thud.

It was enough to render the room silent. “As I’m sure a lot of you know, this time of the year is known to many as ‘crunch time.’” she began. “Crunch time means a very unhappy Nicole. An unhappy Nicole means either cooperation or several homicide reports. To save on paperwork, I think things would just go a lot easier if we all just cooperated. So I’m going to give everyone here ten seconds to resolve their issues and shut up. Afterwards, Jeff is going to conduct a council, and we’re all going to treat is as seriously as any other council meeting, without any interruptions unless they’re from me. Okay? Your time starts… now.”

I expected to hear perhaps confused murmuring, but all I heard was silence, and all I saw were a bunch of chastised students too fearful to look Nicole in the eye.

“That’s what I fuckin’ thought.” Nicole stated menacingly with a dark look in her eye. Almost instantly, it vanished, replaced by a gleam. “You all are lovely. Thanks for being so cooperative.” She sauntered back to her chair and sat back down, beaming smugly at me.

“Is there anything you can’t do?” I asked her teasingly.

“Get enough of your compliments?” she winked at me. “Now shut the fuck up, squirt. Council is starting.”

I didn’t think I was going to begin this particular student council with a grin, but definitely by the end, I was sorely missing Phil. Whether he had bad conduct or not was a whole other topic, but he definitely knew how to command a room, and Jeff… to put it lightly, Jeff didn’t. He had the same control over a room as a gym sock, and by the time the council had ended, I got to remember what ‘excitement’ was when I suffered a small cramp getting out of my chair.

By the time Jeff called out that the council was over, people were beginning to file out before he even finished the sentence. He took it well, clearly, not a single emotion on his face as he packed up and cleared out himself. I took my time, knowing Nicole was going to give me a ride home.

“Crazy day, huh?” I remarked.

“Kill me.” she replied, collecting her stuff. “I’m so done with everything.” By now, everyone else was out of the room, with the exception of Megan, who seemed to just be standing there.

“Do you need something, Megster?” Nicole addressed her.

“Um..” she nervously began. “I just… I got your note, and I’m just waiting for… whatever you needed…” she was playing with her hair anxiously as she spoke.

“Note? What note?” Nicole inquired. In answer, Megan put her finger on a piece of paper on her desk and slid it forward so it was in front of Nicole. I read the note over Nicole’s shoulder.

Megan,

Stay behind after the council meeting. I need to talk to you and I need to talk to you alone. Don’t ask me about it, I’ll tell you when everyone left.

Was Nicole hiding something from me? Oh god, was she going to talk to her about the sex thing? That wasn’t fair, talking to me about it was okay but poor little Megan would have died from fright. “Nicole…” I began uneasily.

“I never wrote you a note, Megan.” Nicole replied, dead serious. “I mean, fuck, this is nowhere near my handwriting.”

“Oh…” Megan replied, somewhat confused but still nervous. “I’m sor-”

“No, shut up for a sec.” Nicole cut in. “Why would someone write this note? They wanted the two of us together, in this room, why?” She paced around the room for a few seconds, then spread her arms out cautiously. “Oh my god, there’s a bomb.”

She eyed our fearful expressions and burst out laughing. “Relax, you idjits.” she chuckled. “So what the fuck is with this? Adam, is this you?”

I shook my head no and Nicole’s smile left. “Huh. Weird.” she shrugged, then gathered her stuff and opened the door.

A fiery little brunette greeted her, jumping into the doorframe with a loud “AHA!” as the door opened. Nicole remained unmoved, and slowly turned to face Megan and I. “Well, I think I have an idea now…” she said lazily. She turned back to face the little demon. “Hi, May. Care to come i-”

“I planned this.” May announced crazily, walking in. “I wanted to have all three of you in a room with me, because it’s time we talk about some things, and reveal a few truths while we’re at it.”

No one said anything for a few seconds. “What the hell, why not,” Nicole announced, plopping into a chair. “Meglet, text your bro and tell him I’m driving you home.”

“Why are you encouraging her?” I asked Nicole incredulously.

She shrugged. “Today was boring. This is at least something new. So, what’s up your ass, May?”

“Don’t talk down to me.” May snarled back at her, catching Nicole off guard. I had never really seen May this riled up. It was almost scary. No, fuck it, she was scary, especially given our past. “I’ve got many secrets I’ve been keeping inside for way too long, and it’s time to expose this motherfucker.” She pointed squarely at me, then slowly grinned. “So, Adam, do you want to confess for yourself, or do you want me to talk? Because I have a long list of things I have to get through.”

I looked desperately around the room. Megan wasn’t going to say anything. She was too uncomfortable. I sure as hell knew how she felt. Nicole was too unpredictable to help me, her burnt-out mind too focused on her spontaneous nature and sitcom attitude to take this seriously. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The most worrying part was, I wasn’t even sure if I was thinking the same things as May, or if I was just inventing things she was making a big deal out of, or… maybe I deserved this. Too many things about what May and I did were coming up.

Fuck.

_________________

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