Life is horridly unfair. No matter what Clay Jensen does - no matter how many wrongs he tries to right - life just continues to shit on him. The girl who he was in love with killed herself. The new girl he was trying to fall in love with tried to kill herself. His best friend was spending all his time with his new boyfriend, leaving him pretty lonely. The jocks were still gods among teenagers and it was seeming more and more would never be brought to justice, destroying so many undeserving people. He still had school and his grades to think about. His parents, who were loving but overbearing.
And now this goddamn trial. Because of these goddamn tapes. And these goddamn Polaroids?
Clay Jensen could never catch a break. He was cursed. That has to be it. Any other explanation that shown him as the culprit to all his problems, he couldn't handle. Not when Skye just broke up with him. Not when Hannah, who was totally dead, was living in his head and wouldn't shut the fuck up. And now Justin Foley was stinking up his room. He always wanted a brother but, safe to say not like this. He tried to convince himself it'd all be worth it, if he could get him to trial but that wasn't a sure thing. It was becoming a struggle for Clay just to open his eyes everyday.
But, truthfully, things weren't as bad as they could've been. At least he has a car now.
He was driving to Sheri Holland's house. She was helping to detox Justin off heroin. He couldn't believe this was his fucking life but he had absolutely no right to be shocked by now. He pulled up his Prius to her house made of brick. He rang the doorbell. It was a Saturday and she was off Justin Watch, so she had to give him the tools needed for his rehabilitation. Clay knew she could've just texted him and he could've picked the things up at a drugstore, but he secretly wanted to see where Sheri lived. She opened the door, wearing some sweat-shorts and a baby t-shirt. She was barefoot, showing dainty toes.
"Hey, Clay." She said.
"C'mon in. I left some stuff in my room." She jogged up the stairs, so her hair shook back and forth behind her. It was different, wavy and ombre from brunette to copper-blonde at the tips. Clay followed her into a pink bedroom, frilly and full of stuffed animals.
"This is your room?" Clay didn't know what he was expecting but not the feminine overload.
"My dad likes to think that I'm still 6 years old, so that's who he made a room for. My room at my mom's house is a bit more me." She trotted past her canopy bed and dove underneath to pull out bottles of Gatorade and trash bags. When her shorts rode up on her way down, Clay's eyes went up to the ceiling.
"OK," her hair fell in her face and she sighed, standing back up. "Everything our patient needs on his journey through Recovery Road." She handed the bags to him. "How's he doing?"
Clay's mouth puckered and he weighed his answer by bobbing his head. "He's... not puking on my bed anymore."
"Good sign. So, I spoke to Tony and he said that he can come through in the mornings because he has a work schedule and then, on Wednesdays I have a free period at 8th, so I can come by - "
"That's not necessary, Sheri. I mean, you weren't even supposed to know about this, to be honest. Too many people are involved as it is. You don't have to any more than you have."
Clay thought those words would relieve the girl, but all they did was piss her off. She knotted her eyebrows at him, scoffing, "Clay, I want to help."
"I know and you have - "
"And I want to keep helping. I'm trying to do everything I can OK? I know this doesn't make up for what I did - nothing ever will - but I... I told the Atkins', the Cantrells, I-I turned myself in and spent time in a girls' home because of it... and you still don't trust me? Clay, why don't you trust me?"
The boy shook his head and tried to walk past the girl. "I can't talk about this right now -"
"No!" She put herself in front of the only exit. Sheri was smaller than Clay by some inches, but there was no way he'd shove a girl. "Answer. Now. Why?" She crossed her arms.
"Sheri, please - "
"Clay - "
"Because I did trust you and you lied to me! OK? I put a lot of trust in you and come to find out you were on the fucking tapes! You were just like everyone else! But still, not like everyone else because I... I really liked you. Justin and Courtney and Zach and... they didn't care about me, really, before this and I didn't care about them either but... I liked you. I always liked you."
Wiping the tears out of her eyes, Sheri whispered, "I always liked you too, Clay."
"I didn't think you could do something like that." He shrugged, shook his head.
Sheri mirrored him. "Neither did I, if that helps. I'm not a perfect person, Clay. I'll never be. I'm just trying to be better than I was yesterday."
"I know. I'm sorry, Sheri. I'm just... so tired. I thought this was over. Finally. But... "
"I know." Suddenly, something compelled the girl to rise on her tip-toes and wrap her arms around the withered looking boy. For appearing so worn down to Sheri a minute ago, he had such a strong grip. She had so much warmth and Clay easily submitted. He took in the scent of coconut and summertime. They held each other and swayed, mistakenly slow dancing in the middle of her room. The side of Clay's cheek was so smooth and soft, Sheri kissed it. He just seemed like one of those people who needed to be kissed on the cheek, every now and again. It was so tender, the most tender affection that Clay had in a long time, he almost thought he would start to cry again. Slowly, he picked his head up and connected their foreheads, then the tips of their noses.
Clay had a flashback to the when he kissed Sheri before. It was sweet and passionate, but not like Hannah. Kissing Sheri felt good but kissing Hannah felt... right. They were sharing breath and Clay was filling up with need, looking down at Sheri's full, shinyy lips but he was holding back. Then, he heard a familiar voice.
Let go, Helmet. It's OK. Let go.
In one fell swoop, Clay fastened his lips to Sheri's. She was surprised but didn't put up a fight when it came to kissing him back. She tasted sticky and like strawberries and Clay couldn't get enough. Sheri put her hands around his neck for more access and reading her mind, Clay hoisted her up by her slim thighs. He was walking them back to her bed, when Sheri got a chance to nibble on his lower lip, making Clay groan with pleasure and distracting him from how near the bed actually was. Together, they fell onto Sheri's bed. In shock, Sheri let out a yelp while they were falling and laughed on top of Clay. Her laughter became contagious and Clay chuckled a little bit as well. Until, he sobered, the fall acting like a crash back down to earth. A reminder that he couldn't allow himself to be happy, not even for a moment because it was likely to be ripped away.
When Sheri was about to come in for more kisses, Clay stopped her. "Maybe... maybe we shouldn't be doing this."
Gradually, she rose up and straddled him. Her green eyes never wavered or broke away from his blue. Her fingertips teased at the end of her white shirt and her voice got deeper. "Or maybe... this is exactly what we should be doing." Sheri pulled her shirt above her head, revealing a plain black bra.
Clay gulped, feeling hypnotized. "Sheri... Sheri, I don't know about this."
"Clay, we're going through a lot shit right now, right?" She began to spread her hands underneath his black shirt, running them all over his skin and giving him goosebumps.
"We're stressed out. I'm not a cheerleader anymore and... you don't have your bike. We need exercise. We need an outlet. " Sheri reasoned, tracing her finger down the trail of hair from his navel.
He had trouble finding his voice, "right."
"Let me help, Clay. I want you to trust me again. I can help." She gradually moved his hoodies up his torso, exposing a toned but skinny body. There was the makings of developed abs. She chastely kissed them. "Clay Jensen," she said, impressed. "It looks like you already have been doing a lot of working out."
"All the biking." He said, bashful and blushing.
"Arms up." He obeyed and let her undress his shirt. Sheri came back down to kiss Clay. He welcomed her by holding her flush against his muscles and flipped her over to dominate. Oh, yes. Clay was a lot stronger than he looked. The kisses got more passionate and sloppy. The wetness of his tongue against hers made Sheri shiver. Clay moved from her lips, to her neck, to her shoulder. Her hands caressed his back and her lips touched his earlobe. Clay's jeans were becoming quite the hassle, as his hardness got worse. Sheri wasn't helping either, being beautiful and grinding her core into him. His head was spinning and he was centimeters away from tearing his jeans off, when he heard the door click open from downstairs. They both paused, eyes wide at each other.
"Sheri?" A man's voice called.
"Oh, shit! That's my dad!" She shouted in a whisper. "Go, go, go!"
"I don't know, just get hidden! The closet!" Clay made a quick glance to the door.
"Uh, I'm working out, dad!" She forced her shirt over her head and Clay ran into a nearby closet. Heavy footsteps stalked up the stairs. Sheri chucked Clay's shirt and shoes underneath her bed. Sheri got into a sit up position, just in time for her father to open her door.
"...23...24...25." She sighed and casually greeted. "Oh, hey daddy."
"Hey, Sheri-baby." Clay watched from a crack in the door, as the big man hugged his daughter. "Oh, what's this?" Mr. Holland leaned over and picked up a Gatorade bottle that Clay dropped when they were making out.
"Oh, just from a Gatorade run."
"OK. Remember to clean up later, we're going to have that dinner tonight. Felicia and I just brought in the groceries and we need your help."
"Aw, daddy, now?" She whined.
"Yes, now. Finish up. I'll see you downstairs."
When the coast was clear, Clay peeked out of her closet and Sheri went to grab his things. In a jumbled pile, she handed them off. Then, she ran over to her window to see her dad and stepmother still in the car, handling grocery bags.
"Clay, you have five seconds to get out of this house without being seen." Sheri stated, seriously.
"What?!" His voice was muffled underneath the fabric of his shirt, as he tried to pull his hoodie and t-shirt over his head at the same time.
"Unless you want to fly out the window." She answered looking back at him, sarcastically.
Clay sighed heavily, "fuuuucccckkk."
"I know, I know. I'm sorry but, we're running out of time. You have to hurry." Sheri was pushing Clay towards the door, when he suddenly turned around so fast, making the smaller girl jump.
He whispered to her lips, "next time we do this at your mom's house. I wanna see your real room, OK?"
She smiled against his mouth, "OK." Clay and Sheri gave each other a fast smooch before Clay threw his hood over is head and moved like lightening out of the Holland residence and into his car. Now completely safe, he drove away with a genuine grin on his face. This was first time in a long time that he felt like a normal teenager. Sneaking out of a girlfriend's house. Sheri wasn't his girlfriend, or... maybe she was? They didn't talk about it. He didn't know what was going to happen next, but what the fuck else was new? Life could shit on him, but it also could surprise him. Clay couldn't forget that.
Then, his phone chirped with a text from Justin.
Hey did u get the stuff from sheri yet?
Clay rolled his eyes at the stop sign and exhaled, "god-fucking-damn it."
AN: I don't know how far I'm gonna take this, as smut is not my forte but this is an experiment. I know this wasn't really steamy but I want buildup. Thanks for reading.