He stood in front of the bathroom mirror rubbing at his damp hair with a towel, a scowl on the brunette's face.
Damnit but Jack makes my life a living hell... He thought as he wiped away the water from his newly clean hair. It had been red paint this time... fortunately he'd been wearing a red t-shirt today and it wouldn't show. His mother wouldn't be happy to learn that Jack had done this... AGAIN.
Ever since that first day I transferred to Burgess High...
Five months ago...
"We'll be late if we don't hurry won't we?" Jamie asked as he looked over at Toothiana, the india girl smiled, she insisted everyone call her Tooth; her name was about as exotic as she was, but she didn't mind in the least.
"It will be okay, all of our teachers know this is your first day so since I'm showing you around the place and to your classes they won't mind if you're late, just don't be late tomorrow."
"I won't be. Thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it."
"Don't worry about it. I'm sure you'll love being here. Everyone is so friendly."
"That'll be a change from my last school. It was literally a boot camp on the military grounds."
"Yeah... but it wasn't like what hollywood makes it out to be. Sure the teachers were strict, but not so much that it was impossible to like." She giggled.
"Ah, here we are. Room 213."
"Great!" Jamie moved forward and reached for the door.
"Jamie wai-" It was too late, the bucket fell and Jamie let out a shriek; he was covered in.... What the hell is this?! It smells like fish guts!
The entire classroom burst into laughter, Jamie felt his temper skyrocket. As he pushed his way into the room, leaving his things at the door way.
"Who's responsible?!" Some of the laughter died down, pointing to a white haired youth who was doubled over with laughter... Jamie marched over to him. He looked up, the amusement in the blue eyes vanished upon meeting his gaze but he didn't say anything as he slammed his fist into the other boy's face.
"This isn't funny! I don't know who you think you are but I'll beat the crap out of you if you do it again!" Jamie whirled around, not seeing the surprised look on the other boy's face as he stared wide-eyed at Jamie's retreating form as he went to get cleaned up in the nearest restroom.
Ever since that day I've had to keep a spare set of clothes at the school... I swear he lives just to antagonize me... He gathered up his things after dropping the towel in the laundry basket. Fortunately he only had one class with that stupid jerk. The rest of his day would be normal, calm and quiet. He didn't notice the taller youth following him several steps behind.
I don't get that guy... why the hell is he so hot tempered?! I swear everything I've tried has only made him punch me... or try... from that first day... He stuck his hands in his jeans, Jamie hadn't been his target that day. They'd been waiting for the teacher... The entire class had helped him set it up just so... Mr. North would have laughed it off, but Jamie... Jamie had come over, furious...
I've never seen anyone that mad before from one of my pranks...
Five months ago...
The shriek that had issued from the kid was too good! He didn't know the boy but that he'd unwittingly walked in at the wrong time was just funny! Everyone else thought so!
"Who's responsible?!" Jack wiped away tears from his laughter as the boy marched over to him. Wait... is he really-? The pain hit him and knocked him on his butt. He looked up at the other boy, eyes wide. No one had ever hit him before... especially not over something so harmless. It was only fish scented water... it'd come right out with washing. Wha? He watched the other boy stalk out of the room, no one was laughing then. Everyone loved his jokes and pranks... always had... what was this kid's deal?!
Jack walked through the halls, chuckling. He’d gotten a bunch of students with water balloons, but it was Jamie who had been his main target and had been completely soaked from head to toe. Claude and Caleb had helped, not that they’d aimed specifically for Jamie though because they knew too well the consequences of that.
“Man, why is it always Jamie with you?” Caleb asked as they walked the halls.
“You gonna torture him until we graduate?”
“Torture him? Since when are my pranks torture?!” Jack stared in surprise at the two.
“No offense man, they’re funny... but Jamie doesn’t seem the type to appreciate it.”
“That is kind of the point. Why else do you think I don’t want either of YOU singling him out?” The two looked at each other a moment then shrugged.
“Don’t tell me you LIKE him or something! I mean, I’ve never seen you take a girl out.”
“Are you making fun of me now? How could I possibly like someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor? Even if I DID swing that way what’s it to you?” Caleb held up his hands.
“I don’t have nothin’ against it man, just so you know.”
“I know you both have girl friends, I just haven’t found anyone to match my sense of humor is all.”
“Why Jamie though?” Jack shrugged.
“He makes it too easy. He’s so spacy all the time. Never watching where he’s going... you two know I don’t actually target him all the time... it’s just his own fault he keeps running into them.”
“Yeah, I used to do that all of the time our freshman year.” Claude said and Caleb nodded a little.
“Guess you’re right.” The sound of light laughter caught Jack’s attention. A sweet sound he loved to hear and he glanced over, eyes widening to find that the sound he loved hearing from others was coming from the one person he’d never been able to make laugh...
“I know! Right?!” Tooth giggled along with Jamie. It was good to see him smiling. Even though he was as drenched as could be. His clothes clung to him still but the smile on his face was genuine.
“Thanks so much Tooth, I needed that.”
“Any time Sweet Tooth.” She gave him a peck on the cheek and Jamie sighed. He turned and saw Jack though and instantly the smile faded. Jack glanced away like he’d not even meant to look at him. Why me? Does he hate me or something? He shook away the notion. Why was he questioning this now? It seemed like a for sure thing that Jack didn’t like him and that was why Jamie always seemed to be the butt of his jokes and pranks. He shook his head and gathered his bag. At least it was the end of the day and he could go home and get some dry clothes.
“Jamie!” The squeal of his sister made him smile.
“Hey... why are you all wet?”
“There was a water balloon fight at school.”
“Did you get Jack with one?”
“Nah... I didn’t seem him the entire time.” She pouted.
“You should have! He’s only been mean to you since we came! I hate it!” Jamie smiled slightly.
“I know... but it can’t be helped.” She doesn’t need to know the half of things... she’s getting along so well at school and no one has bullied her...
“Mom left some snacks for us in the kitchen.”
“Alright, thanks for letting me know.” He headed upstairs to his room. He sighed as he striped out of his damp clothes and slid into new ones. Well, he knew Sophie wouldn’t say anything to his mother and he’d no reason to complain. It had just been water. It had been the end of the day too, at the end of class; it was warm enough for that sort of thing but still... Jamie lay on his bed. Even with the warmer weather making it okay... I don’t feel so well... He closed his eyes.
Jack frowned when he saw the look Tooth, Pippa and Cupcake were giving him.
“What’s up with them?”
“Beats me.” Caleb gave a shrug. Cupcake strode over to Jack and he wondered what he had possibly done to earn the girl’s ire.
“You are the worst Jackson Overland! Because of you Jamie is sick!”
“Are your ears full of cotton?! Duh! Why else do you think he hasn’t been to school two days in a row now?!” Jack frowned at that. He had noticed the other’s absence, but he hadn’t known Jamie was sick. It wasn’t like he’d meant for that to happen. Sure he played pranks on Jamie all the time, but that didn’t mean he was cruel about his jokes to the point of actual harm. He watched her storm off back to the other girls.
Jamie stood up in front of the school, well it wasn’t the whole school; it was just his class actually, but they were doing a mock trial in the auditorium...
“I believe the following evidence will help prove that my client was not actually present during the murder. That her belongings there only prove that she and the victim were currently in a relationship and thus the presence of her phone, along with other effects, is irrelevant.” Jamie picked up a cd. It was supposed to be blank really, because it was a mock trial, everyone present knew that the “evidence” was supposed to be a recording from a local restaurant. He put it into the dvd player and hit play, of course nothing was supposed to be on it... so everyone stared when something ACTUALLY began playing! Jamie went white as a sheet.
“Ah! Right there... just like that...” Jamie fumbled and hit “stop” as quick as he could. It was just audio, thank goodness but still...
“James Bennett you are to head straight to the principal’s office now!”
“Y-yes s-sir.” Jamie was like a ghost and no one could blame him as he fled. Someone had switched his stuff! The cd he’d brought was blank! He was sure of it! He’d bought the thing himself! It has to be him... he’s always playing these kinds of pranks on me! This is so humiliating!
At the end of the day, Jamie slunk out of the principal’s office after having had a long talk with the counselor and principal. He’d managed to convince them that the cd really wasn’t his and that someone must have switched it with the one he’d had planned. He’d explained about buying the blank cds a week before, he even still had the receipt in his bag, along with the original case, to prove it. He told them he’d kept all of that with him because he’d suspected something might happen otherwise and he didn’t want it to... but it still had happened despite his precautions. When asked, he’d pointed the finger at Jack but he couldn’t prove it anymore than he could prove that the cd in question had belonged to Jack. To say he was surprised to find the source of his anger waiting for him by the doors, when everyone else had already gone home, was an understatement.
“What are you doing here?”
“Same as you I imagine.”
“Yeah right... like you’d ever get in school suspension.”
“I did actually. I’m guessing it’s thanks to you.”
“Well your little prank wasn’t funny! Not even the others laughed!”
“You think I was the one who did that?!”
“Who else?!” He glared at Jack.
“Well it wasn’t me okay?!”
“Just like always!” Jamie slammed his fist into Jack’s face, neither noticed their things scattering about the hallway. Jamie grunted as he was slammed down onto the floor with Jack pinning him. Erg... when did he get so strong?
“I can’t imagine why you hate me so much!” Jack stared at Jamie for a moment.
“Maybe I don’t. Maybe I just like a challenge.” Jamie glared and opened his mouth to retort. Jack didn’t give him the chance. He swooped down, his mouth on Jamie’s was hot and demanding. Jamie tensed in utter shock.
W.... what?! He- There was the sound of a groan and Jack pulled back, both panting and red. Jamie stared up in sheer surprise, his cheeks aflame. Jack climbed off him, letting him go; he gathered his things and left the other boy staring after him, half lying on the floor.
Wha... what the hell?! Once home, hours later, Jamie found himself rubbing his hands over his face as he couldn’t help but replay the day’s events. There was no way this was real... He had to imagine that... right? No way the school’s prankster kissed him and meant it. Jamie groaned. This had to be some cruel joke or something. He really is out to ruin my life! That bastard took my first kiss!
Murmurs of the people around him went unheard as Jamie walked through the halls. I don’t get it.... It’s been two weeks now and I haven’t run into any prank of Jack’s or even seen him... The thought of the kiss played in his mind. Why? Why did he kiss me? Jamie didn’t understand it. Not one bit. None of it made sense, after all, now that he thought about it... nothing that Jack had ever did was purposely cruel. It hadn’t been nice to fall into so many of Jack’s jokes like whoopee cushions or small food items that would stick to the butt of whoever had sat down... Now that I stop to think about it... I’m not really the only one he’s pranked... I just... run into them so many times... Has that been my own fault this whole time?
“Oi! Earth to Jamie!” Jamie started and looked over his shoulder.
“Ah! Aster... Sorry.”
“Ya been spacy all week, what’s eatin’ ya mate?”
“Eh, nothing. I’ve just had a lot on my mind is all. Summer’s going to be here soon so I guess I’ve been worrying a little over all the tests that are going to be coming next week.”
“Eh, no worries mate, ya never had trouble with ‘em before right?”
“Yeah, guess you’re right.” He smiled a little.
“Still, doesn’t keep me from worrying just a little.”
“I get that.” I hate lying... but I can’t tell him the truth... he’d go ballistic on me if I mentioned that... He doesn’t like Jack as it is. It’s strange... it’s all I can think about now. I was mad, of course, at first but now... I don’t know. Why would he do something like that? It just doesn’t seem like him to do something of that nature even if he is the school clown. Jamie spaced out during the next class, taking notes like a zombie, his head propped in one hand; he stared forward and seemed to be listening but in truth he wasn’t really paying one bit of attention. So he almost jumped when someone nudged him.
“Hmmm?” He then noticed the room was almost empty save for him and Aster.
“Ya sure yer alright?”
“Yeah, yeah... just a lot on my mind is all.” Well, it wasn’t so much “a lot” as just one specific person. The entire day he couldn’t stop thinking about Jack, even if he didn’t see the other boy aside from a glimpse of him every now and then in the halls, in class; this continued day in and day out and the longer it went on the more troubled Jamie became. Why had Jack’s pranks seemed to suddenly just come to a halt? Surely it wasn’t because of him... That definitely didn’t seem like Jack. Were his parents maybe the reason? He saw Caleb and decided to ask, the other boy and his brother were always hanging around Jack after all though at the moment the other two seemed absent.
“Hey, got a sec?” Caleb looked up from his meal and blinked; he’d just sat down.
“Sure. What’s up?”
“I was just wondering... is something going on? I mean, Jack has seemed kinda mellow lately. Did he get into trouble with his parents?”
“What parents? The guy’s an orphan.” What?! He...
“Tell me you’re joking.”
“Nope. You wouldn’t think it would ya?”
“How does he stay so cheerful then?”
“I’m not sure honestly, I’ve only known him a few years; but... even with all the foster kids... he’s one of the older ones and teenagers don’t usually get adopted. I have a theory though... I think the guy uses his pranks to hide. Keep others at arm’s length maybe.”
“Yeah... I guess I could see that. Thanks.” He walked over to an empty table and sat down. So then... if it’s just an act... then maybe he was telling the truth then... So then... what DOES he think of me? Jamie barely seemed to notice when Tooth and Pippa sat down near him as the girls were talking about some cute boy, obviously not him, but even if they were he honestly didn’t care as he watched Jack sit down with Caleb. Did his shoulders slump a little for a moment or was he just imagining things?
“So Jamie was asking about you.” Caleb said as Jack sat down.
“Yeah? What for?”
“Thought you’ve been mellow recently. I kinda agree with him.”
“Yeah.... well he thinks I’m the one who got us both into trouble.”
“It wasn’t you?”
“Are you kidding me? That was beyond cruel and you know I don’t do that.”
“Yeah, guess you’re right... so then who?” Jack shrugged.
“Someone who doesn’t like him, obviously.”
“You saying you like him?”
“Well I’ve never hated him anymore than I do anyone else around here.”
“That another way of saying ‘I don’t want to answer’ if I’ve ever heard of one.” Claude sat down.
“Yeah? What do you know?”
“Plenty, I’m not all brawn and no brain. We’ve seen how you’ve been paying attention to him ever since he transferred; even if that first one was a fluke, you’ve been trying to target him a few times.” Jack’s shoulders sank a little.
“Am I THAT obvious?” He asked quietly, the twins exchanged a glance.
“Not really, but Jamie’s pretty bright... if you don’t tell him, he’s going to figure it out on his own sooner or later.”
“Yeah. He’s had girlfriends though. Not promising.”
Jack hunched down in his seat; he hated tests and he’d finished early, that meant he really had nothing better to do than to pretend like he wasn’t staring at Jamie out of the corner of his eye. Damn... I really messed things up... kissing him like that... I’ve kept it so low key and been so careful since that first day... It doesn’t seem like he hates me. At least he didn’t before that. I can’t blame him if he does now though, can’t imagine after all the girlfriends he’s had that he enjoyed that... I can’t stop thinking about it though and I want to do it again.... AGH! That’s not all though... Jamie.... Why can’t I get you out of my mind? Why must you taunt me so? Out of all the students here.... I had to fall for a straight guy. He let out a quiet sigh. Anything more and the teacher would notice and would shush him. Jack closed his eyes and kept his mind from wandering, because he knew too well that would end very embarrassingly for him if he let his mind wander. How he got through the first day of tests without bumping into Jamie - or anyone else for that matter - he wasn’t really sure. It was only their second year and already he was thinking about things he was pretty sure the fosters wouldn’t want him to and even worse... about another boy. A straight boy too. He couldn’t help it really, Jamie was cute as far as boys went and Jack really had never had any interest in girls; they were never on their own and talking to one was both scary and just down right weird. At least with other boys he knew where he stood while trying to figure out where he stood with a girl was like trying to walk on ice on a slope. Although, now that he thought about it, Jamie had left him a little off balance since that first day the boy had knocked him on his butt. Not that Jack couldn’t fight when he needed to and he’d proven he could dodge Jamie’s blows just fine, but the other boy continued to surprise him and over the months he’d gotten his fair share of bruises from it.
Jamie barely saw anything of Jack. Monday went by without a hitch, Tuesday was silent, Wednesday he hadn’t seen Jack all day except in first period which was the only class they shared together; by the time Thursday came around Jamie was feeling a bit paranoid, but when Friday came about still nothing happened... to anyone. It just felt... wrong. So it was then that Jamie decided to do something about all this; all this no prank stuff was setting him on edge, even more so than when Jack had been doing it consistently. He knew he needed to talk to Jack about this, because frankly... if he were honest... he hadn’t been able to think about much else. So it was the following Friday that he’d managed to get everything together....
Jack suppressed a sigh. Another week gone. In three more weeks school would be out and it would be summer, but he wasn’t much of one for hot weather and it meant that he wouldn’t be able to see Jamie... Why? Why can’t I get him out of my head? Huh? What’s this? He had seen something slip from the locker. It looked like a note, he picked it up and flipped open the folded page:
The library’s loft, after school. Come alone.
Eh? Who could have wrote this? He shook the question away, there was no way to know until he met up with them at the library. Why the loft though? It seemed a little weird, but he shrugged it off as he slipped the note back into his locker and headed off to his last class of the day. Everything seemed normal, he climbed into the loft and set his backpack down, but as soon as he did he had the feeling he wasn’t alone. It was sort of an odd feeling, like someone was watching him; he wondered if this was some sort of prank or something and he had fallen right into it... He steeled himself, but nothing happened. He looked around, he didn’t see anyone though he was sure he would have seen them from where he was. The library had a loft for readers so that they wouldn’t likely be disturbed. Now that I think about it... don’t a lot of couples use this spot to make out during school? He turned and nearly leapt out of his skin because coming up the steps soundlessly was Jamie. He smiled a little. J-Jamie?! What the... what is he doing here?! Don’t tell me that he’s the one that sent the note!
“Right on time, I wasn’t sure you’d even show.” What the heck did Jamie mean by that? Jack gulped a little.
“Uh... well... why wouldn’t I? I mean, I’ve nowhere else to be today...” God that sounds so lame.
“That’s good.” What the heck? Why did he want me up here?
“Look... I’m sorry about... what’s happened. I didn’t mean to target you all those times... I mean-”
“I know.” Jack stared at him. He knew? So then... why didn’t Jack feel relief? Why did he suddenly feel so apprehensive? Why did Jamie look so calm?!
“Um... I g-guess I’ll understand if you want to get back at me.”
“Why would I want to do that? Do you really think that’s why I asked you to come here?”
“Why else?” Jamie sighed a little.
“Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to share you with anyone. Because I like you. Maybe it’s because despite the tests and everything, you’re the only thing I’ve been thinking of this past week.” Jack felt his cheeks heat.
“Wh-wha?! Do you even know what you’re saying?!”
“Yeah, I’ve thought about it. In fact, since that day in the hall, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I was worried, you know, when you suddenly stopped with the pranks.” What did that have to do with anything?
“Wait... what?” What is he saying all of the sudden?!
“I heard a rumor somewhere that you thought I didn’t have a sense of humor.” Jack glanced away, yeah... he might have said something like that...
“I do have one, but I made a mistake. I thought, at first, that you didn’t like me because I kept falling into all those pranks.” Jack whipped his head around to stare at him as he felt his face grow hot in anger.
“You idiot! Of course I like you!” He slapped a hand over his mouth, eyes widening. What did he just admit?! Jamie smiled gently, his touch just as gentle as he pried Jack’s hand from his mouth.
“That’s good to know, because otherwise I’d feel a little silly doing this.” Before Jack could ask what he meant Jamie closed the distance and brushed his lips against Jack’s. Soft... It was all he could think as he found himself sinking into the kiss; his arms slipped around Jamie who held him close as he deepened the kiss.
Jack's mind was sent reeling from their lips met, Jamie had said that Jack was all he could think about lately and if Jack was honest, the same could be said of him. He had lost count how many times he'd berated himself. Of how many times he had lay awake at night dreaming of that kiss in the hallway and fantasizing so much more... He didn't just like Jamie. He'd been struck dumb in love with the other boy since he'd first laid eyes on him. He'd never forgotten that day, how he'd seen the sparkle of fire behind the molten chocolate eyes as the boy had marched up to him. Jack had felt a lot of things that day and had been confused for the rest of the day, but he had worked it out... or rather, had spent months trying to. Trying to tell himself it was just a stupid crush. That Jamie would never like him back. There had been all sorts of reasons, in his mind, that this would never work; the chief among them being that he'd seen Jamie go out with girls. Despite all that, he was here with Jack now and it had been Jamie who had kissed him this time. He couldn't stop the groan that rose in his throat even as he began to realize what was going on. He'd been pushed back into the large beanbag sized pillow that was in some weird shape his mind couldn't supply the name for as his skin tingled from the sensations of Jamie's hands lightly brushing against the fabric of his shirt. The two parted from the kis to gasp for air. He barely noticed the heating of his skin as he felt the fingers slip beneath the material and slide over his stomach along the top of his pants. That action alone sent a jolt straight to his loins. He briefly wondered if Jamie knew what he was about; then he felt warm air brush against one ear.
"You have a banana in your pocket or are you just happy I'm here?" Jack jolted as the words registered, a blush exploding across his face even as Jamie's breathless chuckle only seemed to make things worse. Stirring up a warm feeling in his gut that traveled lower into his groin. He shifted a little suddenly as a thought struck him from his insecurity. This could all be a prank, the ultimate humiliation. Jack had only seen or read about such things in fiction, but as Jamie seemed to pull back a jolt of fear flashed through him that maybe that was it. Jamie was here to humiliate him just like- His thought was cut short the moment their eyes met again and what he saw in the depths of those chocolate eyes was an intensity he hadn't ever seen before. His fear fled as Jamie pressed into a hot kiss and in another moment he registered cool air against his hot skin followed by the feeling of a hand holding his girth. A groan came from him and he thrust a little forward as the fingers wrapped around him.
"J-Jamie..." The pleasure of feeling those fingers wrapped around him sent bits of lightening along his nerves and he wanted more. He didn't know which way was up or down as he arched into the hand that stroked him, working him to new heights of pleasure.
"I want you to touch me too." Jamie breathlessly whispers. Somewhere in his mind, Jack realizes that Jamie had pushed aside his own pants to release himself to the air. Jack didn't hesitate to wrap his fingers around the length. The groan that he heard from Jamie only made him want to hear more even as Jamie sent pleasure tingling through him. Jack matched his pace; the two panting now as the pleasure continued to grow. It was a warmth that stirred in the gut like warm coco, but instead of cooling it only grew more hot with each passing moment and seemed to take over their minds as they pushed to the limit to push the other over the edge of blissfulness. In a single moment, the warm tension that had him straining released and Jamie silenced their cries of pleasure with a kiss as Jack released followed by Jamie after a few more pumps. The two shaking from the experience. Jamie rolled over to lay against the pillow to one side of Jack for a moment before pushing himself to his backpack and pulling out tissues for them to clean up with before it dried. He even had a plastic bag for them to put the tissues in for the time being. For a long moment, they just sat there together after straightening their clothes.
"Wow. I uh..." Jack fumbled. What could he say?
"I meant that was..." Geez Jack, get it together! Jamie looked over at him and gave a bit of a smile; like he understood.
"Wanna spend the rest of high school being my boyfriend?" Jack stared for a moment, not having expected that, but seconds later a grin split his features.
"I'd love it." He shifted to crush his lips against his new boyfriend's; wrapping his arms around him, joyful beyond words as Jamie returned the kiss and pulled Jack against him in a gentle embrace. What had started off as a not-so good year turned out to be one of the best Jack ever remembered having.