Chapter Eight - Risking the Reputation
A heavy object laid down on me causing me to wake up. I am a morning person, plus I had a really good nights sleep so it was fair to say that I was in a good mood. My lungs felt heavy but a cheeky smile leaped on my lips when I saw him. He began to tickle me at my sides, I wriggled away from him trying to catch my breath.
"Stop!" I squeaked while I continued to laugh because I am a very ticklish person.
"Never." He replied and continue tickling my sides.
As I squirmed away I soon felt myself rolling, rolling off. It was a hard landing on the floor boards but I didn't hit my head which was a good sign. I looked up to see Brooks sprawled out on the bed looking down at me. The fair share of blankets came down with me and my legs became entangled with the linen. I wriggled my legs to try and escape from being held captive by bed sheets but I was having no luck.
"Would you help?" I asked the person staring down at me with a smug smile on his face.
"Depends on where you need the help." He said with a simple smirk.
"Luke." I said tugging on the bed sheets that bunched up at my feet.
"Fine." He said and he lifted himself up and off the bed.
He crouched down at my side and I soon realized that he wasn't wearing a shirt. His muscles flexed as he used his arms to free me. The back of his hand brushed along my hip bone that I now realized was revealed and my singlet had crawled up to mid stomach. As his hands worked on the bed sheets, his eyes were on my bare skin. I pretended to not make a big deal as with one hand I pulled down my singlet and the insecurities spiraled in my head.
Lifting the now untangled bed sheets off the floor, he rolled them up into a ball and threw them on the empty mattress. A smile crept on his face as he looked down at my helpless body on the floor. I gave him a look with my eyes that said 'a little help' but he just smiled at me.
I used my palm to push myself up off the floor boards but I think on the way down I must have twisted my ankle, "Ouch" I said as a force of habit. Now his smile turned to worry.
"What's wrong?" He asked, looking over me. His perfect complexion loomed over me. I could see why the girls leaped at the chance to get in bed with the guy. His body was one your fingers yearned to skim along. I think he caught me staring but he tried not the plaster his signature smirk on his face.
"I think I twisted my ankle." I told him, answering the original question. It was only a minor injury that can be fixed with a bit of ice but at this moment in time I could not get up.
"Let me examine." He said, crouching down back at my side. As an instant reaction he placed his warm hands at my waist and with little effort he picked my body up and placed me on the bed. With my legs dangling over the edge all I could focus on was the burning sensation at my waist. It could still feel his hands on my sides even though they were now at my ankle.
His heat radiating through my whole body with one touch. I can see that he is avoiding my gaze. I looked down at my ankle which he was examining and it wasn't swelling which was a good sign. I avert my eyes to his face, my heart jolted because I know he can feel something, the same thing that I feel. His chest rises and falls at the same pace mine is which is very fast. Luke Brooks was nervous.
"I'll get you some ice." He said, avoiding eye contact and soon it was just me, all alone in his bed room.
He hustled back in with a packet of frozen peas and a bandage. This time he looked at me in the eyes, I stared at him in awe. Brooks was helping me. Peeling up my skinny jeans he began to wrap the bandage over my ankle. It was fine nursing, as though he knew what he was doing.
"Bike injuries." He stated, clarifying his experience as if he had read my mind.
With the bandage securely on he placed the packet of peas on my ankle and he held my leg up with his knee.
"Will you be okay to go to school?" He asked me, breaking the ear piercing silence.
I cleared my throat, "I should be." I said weakly.
Damn, school. I had no clothes. Luckily that it was an excursion so I didn't have to drive back to my house to retrieve my uniform.
"What's wrong?" He asked, his eyes searching for an answer with in mine.
We did that. We look into each other eyes in hope of finding emotion or words without having to speak. It was our thing.
Alex what are you saying? Our thing? He doesn't look into your eyes and read you like a book. He doesn't care about you in that way so stop thinking about him.
"I have no clothes for the excursion." I said bluntly, trying not to sound like every other girl who needs to wear new clothes all the time.
He smiled, "I think I might have something." He paced over to a laundry basket, with tons of colourful clothes. Clothes that didn't belong to Brooks. He picked out a gorgeous green jacket. He carefully placed the jacket in my hands and I inspected it. It was the right size but it was Gucci. Man, where did he get this?
Then I connected the dots. A little prize left behind by an admirer. I didn't want to wear it, hell, I didn't even want to touch it.
"Which girl is missing this?" I inquired. As I looked over at the basket I realized just how many girls Brooks has been with. Suddenly I didn't want to be remembered as 'One of those girls'. I couldn't do that to myself.
"It doesn't matter, it's yours." He replied with a simple smile as though he were doing the right thing. And in some respect he was, it was kind. But I couldn't, it defied my morals.
"No. I don't want it." I said, pushing it back at him. He could tell there was something wrong. An apologetic look lingered in his eyes.
"You can't do that." I told him straight.
"Do what?" His voice was soft and calm.
"Care for me." I said gesturing to the peas, the bandage and now the jacket.
"And why not?" He asked, not understanding.
"Because you are Luke Brooks." I answered but he still couldn't comprehend.
"And what? Just because I'm Luke Brooks means that I can't help you out, can't be your friend?" He asked me, trying his best to understand.
"Exactly." I mumbled.
"Bullshit!" He exclaimed, he just didn't get it. Maybe he was too oblivious to see our two different worlds.
He studied me, "I know it's cliche but it's true, you're bad and I'm good, your popular and I'm invisible..." He was now smirking at me.
"I think we went over this Al, opposites attract." He said it so strongly, so confidently. I opened my mouth to say something but Gina walked in.
"Have a nice sleep you two?" She asked, her eyes glued on Luke's bare chest, trying to connect the dots to see if anything happened.
"Yes, thank you very much." I said politely and Luke scoffed before whispering, "Suck up", it wasn't meant to be harsh because he was smiling.
"Mum," Luke said in a fresh tone, "do you by chance have a jumper that Al can wear today for her excursion?" Gina's smile grew as if she knew of the perfect item in her wardrobe.
"Follow me love." She said, turning on her heel and exiting the premises.
I shrugged at Luke with a simple smile and I followed her out of his room and into hers. Walls plain white and bed neatly made, I walked into a room that was much like my parents. This room resembled the love of a mother towards her children. Scattered through out the room was frames with pictures of her three boys.
I smiled at a cheeky photo in my hand of Luke and Jai on their fifth birthday. Luke with his face full of chocolate mud cake and Jai with his hands full of cream.
"This." Gina said, holding in her hands and thin cream jumper. As she unfolded it my eyes gleamed at the perfect craftsmen ship of this jumper. It was beyond gorgeous.
"I can't wear that." I said, politely rejecting it.
"Sure you can." She said, placing it in my hands. "It deserves a day out." She said with a warming smile. Gina is a beautiful women, strong and loving.
"Thank you." I said quickly, almost forgetting my manners as I admired the jumper laid out before me.
"Go on, put it on." She egged, it was as though she were sparing and savoring the moment, due to the fact that she didn't have a girl of her own.
Carefully, I lifted the jumper above my body and I slipped my head in, followed by my arms. It was slightly big but it made my body look smaller, plus it generated more heat to keep me warmer. I was so grateful and I thanked Gina multiple times. With my ankle feeling slightly better I walked back to Brooks' room to see that he was now dressed.
Maroon jumper, white plain t-shirt, dark jeans and black shoes. If anything, Brooks had style. Upon stepping into his room, my nose became filled with his good smelling cologne. It made my heart flutter that how good he smelt.
"Al." He said, was Brooks at a lack of words? Finally he has shut up!
He took a step towards me, he was eyeing me up and down. I was feeling slightly uncomfortable.
I hit his arm. "Luke Brooks, are you checking me out?" I squealed.
You wish Alex!
"Dont deny it, I saw your eyes all over my torso earlier this morning. Don't doubt that I didn't catch you." He said was a smug look on his face, once again taking a step closer. I blushed, I knew he had caught me.
I didn't take a step back. He was now right in front of me, our chests so close to touching. I've been experienced in reading books and correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this the moment he is supposed to make a move? He lowered his head, ever so slightly.
Make your move Brooks.
My heart was thumping so loudly in my chest I almost couldn't hear his breathing. "You smell good," I heard myself mumble.
Alex, get a hold of yourself.
He was leaning in, his arms raising from his side, his arms were reaching up. He was about to I swear.
"Al." He whispered, I saw him shake his head as I looked into his chocolate brown eyes. Our eye contact was intense, neither of us prepared to look away.
His hands rested above my breasts, close call. He adjusted my necklace which was lopsided. As if he'd kiss you Alex. My heart race wasn't slowing even though he took a few steps back, as if to control himself.
"Breakfast is ready downstairs." He said, picking up his phone and sliding into his pocket.
"Brooks, why aren't you in your uniform?" I inquired, trying to relax from that intimate moment we both shared.
He smiled, "You see Al, I'm going to join you on your excursion." He decided.
"But you have school." I said, taking note that he was not in my history class.
"It's called ditching genius." He retorted, stepping past me and out of the room. Leaving me alone, hot and bothered.
"Luke, would you give Alex a ride to school considering her ankle?" Gina asked, smearing her nutella on her toast.
My eyes flicked over to Luke as I munched on my apple. Please say no. "Sure, I'll take her." He said with a big grin on his face. He knew just how much I hated his bike.
"Oh it's fine," I replied back, glaring at Luke.
"Please, it's the least I could do." He responded with a big grin planted of his face.
"Just wait, let me get my camera from my car." I instructed as I unlocked my Audi. Just where I left it, I retrieved my camera and I locked my car again.
"Saddle up." Luke said, enjoying my unhappiness way too much.
He helped me with the helmet which weighed down on my neck. He hopped on the bike and let the engine roar. Uneasily I stepped on the bike, swinging my leg over and sitting. I placed my hands on the edge of the bike making sure not to touch him.
"Al, wrap your arms around my waist." He said firmly, he wasn't driving off until I did so.
"Al, it isn't safe." He said, getting slightly frustrated.
"Fine." I replied knowing that if I didn't listen we would both be late for school.
I placed my hands on his waist which was radiating warmth. Brooks zoomed out of the driveway once he felt contact. Almost instantly I found myself hugging his back. I could just imagine the smirk on his face as I did so. I couldn't help it, gravities force was stronger.
I listened to the birds and the cars engines while I breathed in the petrol. I loved the feeling of the wind flowing through my pony tail. We were about two blocks away from the school when Brooks pulled over. He stayed there for a good minute just contemplating.
"Why did we stop?" I asked him but he didn't respond. Then it clicked. He didn't want to walk in with me. He didn't want to be seen with me on the back of his bike because it would ruin his reputation and what was I expecting, his friends to accept me? The school to accept me? No. That's why Good Girls and Bad Boys shouldn't associate themselves with each other.
Receiving the message loud and clear, I began to climb off the bike. Instinctively, Luke's hand grabbed hold of my thigh. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"Sparing you embarrassment." I shot back as if it were obvious. I hurt that he didn't want to be seen with me.
"Al, get back on the bike." He told me as I began to unstrap the helmet from above my head.
"No." I replied feeling stupid because I thought finally, he might be different after all but he isn't.
"Alex, get back on the bike." He repeated more firmly, I could tell that he was serious when he ever called me Alex.
Finally I managed to pull the helmet off, I carefully placed it on the seat and I began to walk off. By this rate surely I'll be late. I heard footsteps from behind me but I highly doubted they were Brooks', this was what he wanted. For me to not show up with him.
Yet this boy keeps surprising me, he spun me around and held me in place by holding onto my shoulders. I shuddered at his touch, he looked at me, waiting for me to explain. But I kept my mouth shut.
"You know, you would look better if you had your hair out for a change." He said, looking down thoughtfully into my eyes.
I tried to think of a comeback but I couldn't because I was too distracted by the beautiful human in front of me. He looked into my eyes, never shifting his gaze. Slowly his hands raised from my shoulders to my hair. He tugged on the elastic, holding up my pony tail. With care, he began to unwind the elastic until it was off. At once my hair fell, cascading down my back. It was naturally curly.
"See." He said, smiling down at me.
His hand trialed down my arm until it found my hand, the tingling sensation returned almost immediately. "Come on Al, let me drive you into school." He said, gently walking me back towards the bike. I didn't object this time. Once more he helped me with the helmet and we were back on the road in no time.
As we turned into the school gates I noticed the big bus waiting for us, students lined up as teachers took the roll. We had come just in time. I felt uncomfortable because from under the visor I saw every pair of eyes on us. I mean every pair of eyes. Everyone stopped doing what they were doing, everyone stopped mid sentence. Everyone wanted to have a look at the girl on the back of Brooks' bike.
Steadily I got up off the bike. Luke chuckled at my shaking hands as he helped take off the helmet. I raked my fingers through my hair, making sure that I didn't have helmet hair. Luke handed me my camera which he kept stored safely in a compartment on his bike. I sent him a grateful smile and I spun around to face 4 classes of year 11 students who were accompanying me on this excursion.
Jaws hung open, eyes widened, eye brows were raised. What is Alexandra Binks doing on the back of Luke Brooks' bike? That question zoomed through everbody's brains. I apologised to the teacher for being slightly late and soon the line that I was in began moving as we all piled on the bus.
"That's her." Some kid said as I walked further back on the bus in search for a good empty seat.
"So he's banging the nerd?" A masculine voice replied.
It's okay Alex. I was never one who wanted to be the centre of attention. Another difference between Brooks and I.
I was used to eyes glued on me but Al wasn't and I didn't want to bring her unwanted attention. Her name zoomed around the line as people whispered and judged. But why judge? She is much prettier than most of the fake barbies that I've screwed.
She's different. A good different.
I was at the end of the line, sweet talking my way to get on the bus and to the excursion. I rambled about how I valued history or something. I didn't care, as long as I spent the day with her.
Such a pussy.
I craned my neck over all the seats, eyes shot up to meet with mine but I just overlooked them. Then I saw her and at once I smiled. I know that I single handily ruined my 'reputation' by bringing her to school. As I pulled over two blocks away all I repeated in my head was 'Luke you're a dickhead'. But I'm proud that I drove her into school. People could talk all they wanted. I don't care.
Alex, I really hope you are worth it.
I pushed my way through the crowed aisle and I paused when I got to her seat, she gazed out the window, admiring the view. I was admiring mine.
"Is someone sitting here?" I asked with a smug smile, her neck snapped to my attention and she smiled back. "Yeah, just some jerk" she replied.
"Well, it has my name written on it." I teased and plonked myself down beside her.
She didn't say anything for a bit as she resumed her position, looking out the window but then she looked back at me, "Thanks." She said. And those 6 letters seemed to make everything better.
"No problem." I said in a low sexy voice and she chuckled at me trying too hard.
When we actually got to the museum, we were allowed to chose our partners. I was nice, complimented her and possibly annoyed her until she finally gave in and allowed me to be hers. We could wonder the whole museum all day as long as we stayed with our partners. It was a win/win. Al was so excited, admiring all the history.
I trailed behind her with my hands in my pockets, eyeing the petite figure in front of me that I knew I couldn't have. Her words from earlier echoing from inside my head "I know it's cliche but it's true, you're bad and I'm good, your popular and I'm invisible..." Her words hurt as they categorized us.
Us, something that will never be.
At around 12pm, her eyes were glued at this massive sculpture. I couldn't exactly make out what it was but I did know that there was a small cafe behind us. She leaned her body on the cement ledge as she took a picture of this particular sculpture that she would not stop looking at. Now, photography has always been a hobby of mine and when I see something so beautiful I can't resist, I need to grab hold of my camera and take the picture.
Raising the camera up to my eye, I adjust the lens and the focus and I capture the picture. I find myself smiling, admiring my work with the camera. This photo was a keeper.
"You hungry?" I called out, trying to grasp her attention.
She smiled and nodded.
"Come on." I told her and gestured for her to catch up with me.
She did so, her hand dangling so close to mine. I just wanted to slip my hand in hers. No, that would be too weird. I simply brushed my knuckles against the back of her hand causing her to look up at me. She smiled a smile of appreciation before taking the lead and entering the historical cafe. They made a theme like from the Victorian Era and they had done a good job at that fact.
Al loved it. She ordered a crepe and peach ice tea, where I ordered a hamburger and a chocolate milkshake.
"I could live here." Al stated as her eyes wondered the room.
"You're a sucker for this vintage stuff hey?" I replied, leaning on my folded arms, slightly staring at the pretty complexion of the girl across from me.
"Definitely." She replied, taking a sip of her ice tea.
"So is this your first date?" I teased, taking a swig of my milkshake.
She almost spat out the ice tea that she was swishing around in her mouth. After coughing a bit she finally replied, "No" very weakly, she lightly winced at my question knowing that I hit a soft spot.
"Aw it is Al, well I'm honoured." I replied with a cheeky smile as a cover up, on the inside I was actually extremely surprised and baffled. How could such a pretty girl like her manage to go 17 years without a date? Boys in this generation must seriously be blind.
Al paused as the waitress handed us our dishes, she stared at me for a bit before giving me a flirtatious wink that I brushed off. "This isn't a date Brooks." Al said defensively.
"Really? Because a small quiet cafe seems just like the place for a date." I retorted before taking a bite out of my hamburger.
"The difference is, you didn't ask me out." She pointed out knowing she defeated me.
I wish I could. For a boy who really shouldn't be falling for a girl in this situation, category, or falling at all for that fact, I find myself deifying my own morals. But I'm just a stuck up conceited asshole to her.
"Oh," she added. "But Luke Brooks doesn't date." She said, thinking she had the upper hand.
"So the Good Girl thinks she has me all figured out?" I mocked with my signature smirk. "Always expect the unexpected when it comes to this Bad Boy." I warned her, happily taking another bite of my hamburger, leaving her completely and utterly confused.
Because in the end I will end up surprising everyone. I don't know when but I will. The thing that won't change is that I will always get what I want and what I want is Al.