Chapter Seven - I Fall, He Covers for Me
Wednesday. Caught in the middle of the week which is going slower than normal. Upon evaluating Health Class I have come to realise that two whole terms to mark us isn't necessary. One is the maximum but two whole months? I don't think Annabelle is adjusting to the constant change in scenery, it isn't healthy, plus, she is sleeping in a dog bed that I bought for $12. It may seem harsh but I don't have money growing off trees (Way to be original Alex).
But it's not like she can stay in this 'bed' for two terms, it's inhumane. Then again, although the cot is suitable at Luke's house, how would it be fair to leave her there most nights. Our situtation has to deal with the way it is for the time being.
I adjust my school shirt, freshly ironed, before grasping an apple. Sweet, juicy flavores envelope my mouth as I take each bite. I glance over my shoulder, taking note of Tara once again complaining. I don't even listen anymore, my ears have become immune to her whining that I can't hear her. I give her the nod which is an indication that we need to go, she groans and kisses my mother who is quite frankly mad at me goodbye. Blowing a kiss to no one in particular, due to the fact that my parents are both in the room, I evacuate and head for the front door.
Clutching my keys in my left hand, I unlock the car door with a click of a button. I slide into my car which now smells like candy because I left an open packet of gummie bears in here, just as a tiny experiment. After beeping once, at the slowest rate possible Tara exits the house, with an evil smile as I watch her.
"Drive!" She screeches once she securely has her seat belt on and I do as required.
"He won't go out with me," she says about 5 minutes into the drive. I glance to my side and realise that she is actually talking to me, not Mikaela on the phone.
"Who?" I question in a soft tone, just in case she isn't talking to me and I look like a fool.
"Luke." She whispers with a disappointed look on her face.
"Is there something wrong with me?" She asks as though she thinks that she were pathetic.
"No!" I reply, trying to fix her mood.
"That's what I thought," and there is her ego restored.
"Luke's a jerk, you deserve better." I told her in all honesty.
She chuckled. "You just want him all to yourself," she paused and sighed, "That's okay, he's not worth it."
I scoff at her words, "You just want him all to yourself."
He is worth it.
Really Alex? That's a bit pathetic. That little voice in your head is a complete and utter liar.
Tara stayed quiet the rest of the car ride, processing my words and her own thoughts. It was a nice change to see Tara's sensitive side, unlike her constant bitch mood. Slap on the head Alex, no more swearing.
I parked my car in the closest spot to where the main building is, it was more of a walk for where Tara usually stands but for once she didn't complain. Just before getting out of the car she surprised me, she hugged me, she actually hugged me. "Thanks Alex," she said with a sincere smile, maybe my sister and I can be friends.
"H-Hi A-Alex." A boy with braces said as I got out of the car. He seemed nervous to speak to me, a nervousness that I recognise on myself when you are too scared that the other person won't respond. But why? I'm just Alex, nothing special.
"Hi," I said, leaving it at that because I didn't want to seem rude that I didn't actually know this kid's name. He seemed surprised, happy, relieved, star struck and overjoyed all at once. This kid looked like all his dreams came true because the prettiest girl said hello to him. Just an observation, not literally because obviously I said hello to him and not the prettiest girl.
He scurried off when a certain some one scared him off. "Move it loser." He barked sending the kid into a fright.
"Why do you always have to be so cruel?" I hissed at him, clutching my books to my chest.
"Now Al, why can't I get a 'hi' like that nerd?" He asked with a cheeky smile on his face.
"Hello is too mainstream for us," I retorted, walking into the corridor to where I meet my friends.
"Us," he emphasised. "I quite like the ring to that, especially when you say it." He said with the signature smirk.
Face Palm Alex!
"What do you want Brooks?" I questioned with a huff as though it were an effort.
"Al, why do you think I want something from you?" He said, pretending to be offended.
"So you are just wasting my time?" I replied, walking a bit faster than he was, his was more a stroll.
"Now Al, we both know that any time you spend with me isn't a waste, the shame is that we should be spending more time together." He added and I forced myself to look back, just like I suspected, he winked.
"Which reminds me Al, come over tonight." He called out as I walked ahead to my friends. He said it loud enough so all the nerds who actually came to school early and waited in the corridors could hear.
"So tonight?" Bec said with a slight nudge to my arm.
"Don't me started." I replied.
"What about us? We barely hang out anymore." Lilly complained and I realised how true she was speaking, I barely hung out with my friends anymore.
"Crusty's tomorrow afternoon?" I suggested and a gleam in their eyes appeared and soon a nod for agreement followed.
"Good." I said with a nod.
"So, what have I missed?" I asked feeling completely out of it.
"You really must have lost sight of who you are and we are Alex." Lilly snickered.
"Remember us? The nobodies, we don't hear gossip as fast as the route cause Mr Player." Bec teased.
"Speaking of which," Lilly slurred, all her attention focusing behind me.
"Yuck." Bec scoffed. "I really want to see that first thing in the morning," she replied sarcastically.
"What?" I asked, just as I was spinning around they said, "No, don't" but it was too late.
There he was knee up against her thigh, grinding up against her body. Cupping her jaw with such passion. You could hear her moaning from where we were and we were at least 7 meters away. With a hand securely on her waist he kissed her deeper, the thing was, his eyes were wide open. I could see his obnoxious smile when he saw her face, how much she was enjoying it.
That will never be you Alex, get used to it.
It hurt, seeing him rub his body up against her when just minutes before we were talking. It became apparent that I was nothing to him.
"Get a room asshole." I found myself calling out. My voice was a bit shaky, but still strong. I was about to slap my mouth with the palms of my hand but I saw his head jerk up.
Oh no. I could feel it. I was on the verge of crying. Snap out of it Alex! What am I doing? Get a hold of yourself. It's not like we are dating. We are just looking after a baby, that's it, nothing has changed.
He looked directly at me, so much anger was lingering from within his eyes, I could tell that he was angry from something earlier, something before we spoke. He was just good at shielding his emotions. But not now, I see right through him. There is an apologetic look in his eyes but why? He felt guilty, guilty for being caught.
"Mr Brooks, my office, now!" Principal Gold's voice was firm, calling him Brooks because he has become accustom to sending this particular boy to his office.
He snapped his head to see the principals disappointed face before adverting his gaze to me. He kicked himself, mentally before shifting his eyes to the floor below him. Digging his hands into his pockets, he didn't even regard the girl in the corner who was now hot and heavy against the wall. He walked into the office with his head down.
"Alexandra Binks." Principal Gold now say, addressing me.
"Yes?" I said, accustom to his soft voice but now greeted with a harsh one.
"Language miss." He said before walking into his office, closing the door behind him.
"Language miss," I mocked with a slight bit of attitude.
"Damn, the way you swear is so sexy. The boys will love it!" Bec said half excited and half envious, I threw my head back and laughed.
As I laughed I closed my eyes but opened them the second my eye lids touched because when I closed my eyes all I saw was Luke, hooking up with that girl. A sight that pained me to see.
The rest of the day progressed, slowly slowly. I found myself accepting more homework so I wouldn't waste my time procrastinating and thinking about a certain someone I know isn't healthy to think about.
I scurried from the girls toilets knowing surely I'll be late. My eyes focused on my feet as I walked because my shoe lace was undone, there was no time to stop and tie them up though. I couldn't get another detention from that English teacher, not another detention from any other teacher at that fact.
I adverted my sight adjacent me as my senses picked up on a door opening, just a little year 7 student on their journey to- oh no.
My toes curled up as they stubbed hard against the floor beneath me, my laces were getting tangled and I could feel what was happening. I was descending to the floor and I was getting ready for the impact. I should have known better. Instead of landing face first on the ground I landed with my arms being held up by another set of arms, warm arms.
His warmth radiating onto my body, neither of us taking a step back as I balanced myself so when I looked up he was unbelievably close. I could feel myself blushing as I awkwardly took a few steps back. And yet of course he always had something to say.
"I know I'm good looking Al, but to fall at my feet is a bit extreme." He lowered himself so he could whisper in my ear, "and a little embarrassing on your part." I tried to focus on his words as his got breath made contact with my skin sending the hairs on my back up.
"Shut Up!" I said and I attempted to shove him away by pushing on his chest.
"I could file charges for assault but you're cute so I'll let this one slide." He said, taking hold of my arm and placing it gently by my side as though it were delicate.
"Don't flatter yourself Brooks, not everyone wants to suck you." I retorted with such pride.
"Well, well, well, the good girl does know some positions." He said knowing the effect it would have on my already pink cheeks.
I was probably as red as a tomato.
"Aw Al, are you blushing?" He teased knowing it was going to make me blush more.
"No." I said trying to cover my face with my hands.
He took a step closer to me and began to pry off my hand from my face, one finger at a time. He had successfully peeled off my hands but he still held them in his own. His hands were always warm on the rare occasion that I do come into contact with his skin it's always warm, a good warm, an endearing warmth.
"Don't cover your face, it hides your beautiful eyes." He said seriously, staring deep into my eyes as if he wanted to know my each and every thought.
My cheeks were as red as my blood which was burning hot. You know how in films and in books, the helpless romantic describes how her stomach has erupted into thousands of butterflies and her heart is racing so fast. Well in actual fact that was how I was feeling.
This compliment was different from the other little ones he planted, different from all his little lines. This compliment came from the heart.
A smug smile returned on his face, he leaned in and I swear, I swear he was going to make a move. Whatdoido? Whatdoido? My mind wasn't working. His head moved to the side I realised I could relax because he was just whispering my ear again.
As if Alex, as if he'd kiss you.
"Al, you're late for English." My eyes widened when I saw his smirk. He distracted me, I was late for class. Frantically I glanced at my watch. 7 minutes late to the lesson, I could just hear my lecture now.
As I briskly walked to the classroom with Brooks slowly trailing behind I needed to think of an excuse, I couldn't get another detention. Time ran out when I stood in the doorway of the classroom, clearly interrupting the lesson.
"I-ugh....." I began, my fingers intertwining themselves with each other.
"We were called to do an errand for one of the teachers." A husky voice said from directly behind me, his chest up against my back, placing my into a bit of a fluster. She won't believe that.
"Take your seats," was her response, just like that Brooks had my back covered.
"You are a terrible liar." He whispered in my ear for the third time before stepping past me and sliding into his seat leaving me a little hot and bothered with all the warm carbon dioxide leaving his mouth and hitting my skin.
The teacher glared at us, just waiting for us to slip up again. I've never been on a teachers bad side, nor personally victimized by a teacher. Tell you what, the feeling sucks because you have to constantly look over your shoulder. After booming at us to sit down which reluctantly we did so, she personally picked on us throughout the entire lesson.
"Mr Brooks, will you continue reading." The teacher invites as per before hand, selecting students to read aloud.
He clears his throat and I can feel all eyes are on his back, I uneasily take a look backwards and just as I suspected, every pair of eyes were on Brooks.
"Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a party, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled." He spoke with such passion, he was articulate. I didn't want him to stop reading. His husky yet soothing voice was one I could listen to all day.
"And Alexandra. Can you explain to the class what exactly that means?" The teacher requested with her eyebrows raised just waiting for me to slip up.
With confidence I began, "Pearl sees Dimmesdale as a hero. She now understands that Dimmesdale is her "friend" and loves him, but will not give him kisses for long because Dimmesdale is about to die." I stated clearly with pride.
A glint of enragement escaped her eyes because she knows I got it correct. With a happy grin on my face I settled back into my seat and I folded my arms. A warm hand touched my arm, shooting bolts of electricity through my body causing my heart rate to fasten. "Looks like we work well as a team." he said with a smug look on his face.
"Really? Luke Brooks is a one man show." I tease, replicating his smirk on my own face.
"I'll share the spot light with a pretty girl like you." He said with a wink before letting go of my arm and sinking back into his seat.
Those little compliments make me blush like crazy and he knows it.
After an agonizing wait for Tara to get in the car I zoomed home. For one reason, I just didn't want the car ride to drag on, meaning if it did drag on that is more time listening to Tara's whining. Oh and she seems like she is in a better mood, getting back to the real Tara. It's almost been a week and I don't think Tara completely understands why Brooks always talks to me but it doesn't phase me.
With my foot on the accelerator she still complains but this time because I'm going too fast. This doesn't make me go slower, nor does it make me go faster because that's slightly cruel. Upon arriving home I mentally take note that I have an excursion tomorrow at the Melbourne Museum of Natural History. Excursions are always good considering that we don't have to wear our thick uniform, in turn we can wear our own comfortable clothes.
I rush upstairs and change into the first pair of jeans I can grab. I notice that these are Tara's skinny jeans and she would kill me if she saw me in them but they made my legs look really skinny so I decided it was best to suffer the consequences. I slipped into light pink flats and I threw on a peach singlet, along with a peach mi-drift. Rarely am I pleased with my reflection in the mirror but today I'm actually happy. Not that I care what I look like, I'm only dropping Annabelle off at Luke's. I hold the crying baby that I feel like I've neglected in my arms and I smile.
I hustled downstairs, ignoring the conversation my mum was having with Tara, I politely took the afternoon tea that she made. This consisted of chopped up carrots with almonds, also a small peanut butter sandwich. I kissed my mum goodbye and said that I would be home in time for dinner. Due to the fact that I don't have a car seat for her, I settle a pillow on my car seat and I tuck Annabelle's body in, securely and tightly.
The drive was about ten to fifteen minutes but it didn't feel half as long when I had Pink blaring through my speakers. I almost didn't hear Annabelle's crying in the back seat. Instantly, I turned the volume down in hope that that would stop her crying but no, she continued. It wasn't until I parked the car in his driveway and i actually got up to check on her that I realised what was wrong.
I didn't know that they made these plastic babies that advanced that they could actually catch a flu or in this case diarrhea. I tried putting the dummy in to shut her up but no solution was working. I locked my car after scooping Annabelle into my arms. I didn't even need to ring the door bell because Annabelle's crying was loud enough.
"He-" Luke's sexy introduction was cut short when he noted the obvious problem.
"Make it stop." He complained, squishing his ears with the palm of his hand.
"I don't know how to." I admitted, he rushed me into the house and we settled Annabelle in the lounge room.
"What the f#ck?" He cursed trying to find the issue.
"She has diarrhea." I blurted, I couldn't just dump the baby on him, that wouldn't be fair.
"I'm not cleaning that sh#t." Luke said and I chucked at his unintended pun.
"My mum isn't home yet so she can't help, please don't leave me." He asked pleadingly. I searched his eyes which were now full of desperateness.
"I'm not going anywhere." I replied and I began to peel off Annabelle'a dirty nappy.
After listening to Luke complain for a good 5 minutes about how bad the baby smelt, I managed to clean Annabelle up a bit and her tears almost stopped rolling. I know that she wasn't any better and the tears would come down again soon but the silence was good while it lasted.
"Luke, I'm home." Gina's welcoming voice rang.
"Me too." I think the voice belonged to Beau if I recognised correctly.
"Mum, Luke's baby has been crying all afternoon." Jai complained as I heard footsteps descending down the stairs.
"Is she okay?" Gina aske with concern, I assume the question was directed at Luke.
"In here." He called out, shoving his hands in his school pants pockets.
"Luke" Gina said with a sigh of relief, "Oh and Alex, lovely to see you darling." She said with a sincere smile.
"Annabelle's sick with diarrhea." I informed Gina with a frown.
"Have you given her some panadol?" Gina asked, inspecting Annabelle's temperature.
"No." I said, not taking into account that aspect of medicine.
Smart one, Alex!
"We don't have any liquid panadol, only tablets so Luke, take Alex and go to the store and get panadol suitable for babies." Gina instructed.
I am not getting on that bike again.
"We'll take my car." I instructed.
I was waiting for a sly comment from Luke but his mum was just there, I watched him send me a wink when she scrounged through her wallet. I tried to decline her money but Luke accepted. After unlocking my car I quickly sent my mum a text informing her that I may be longer than usual.
"Good girl, keeping your mum updated on your whereabouts." He teased, settling into the passenger seat.
A boy has never been in my car before.
"So does your dad work shift work?" I asked, noting that I've never seen his dad.
"I wouldn't know." Luke said looking out of the window.
"What? Too cool to know what your dad does for a living?" I scoffed, how careless.
"No." Luke said, with voice was stern. "My dad left when we were young." He said it calmly.
Face palm. How insensitive could you be?
"I'm so sorry Luke," was all I could say, the poor boy, growing up without his father.
"It's okay." He said, looking into my eyes. There was something in his eyes that made me feel like he could trust me.
"Mum did well raising us by herself, she is strong." He spoke so endearingly of his mother.
Maybe Luke wasn't as bad as I originally thought.
Nice one dick head. Now she pities you. What are you doing anyway, telling her your best kept secret?
There was something in her eyes that made me trust her. It felt good getting it off my chest though. I can't talk to my brothers about it, they just make jokes to avoid the conversation. I don't want to hassle mum about it because she's been through enough.
But Al, she sat there and she was prepared to listen. I wasn't even bothered to add 'Don't tell anyone' because I know Al is different, she wouldn't tell a soul.
As she drove I took the opportunity to look at her face and admire it.
Luke, what are you doing? Get a grip on yourself.
We went to the chemist and Al knew exactly where to go. She scoffed when the young lady behind that desk tried to flirt with me, she was okay, just the bang type, but I wasn't really interested.
Wasn't interested? Is this even Luke anymore?
We got home and Al nursed Annabelle right until the moment she fell asleep. I was grateful that the cot was in my room, meaning that Al was forced to walk in there again. She was careful where she slept and just like a mother, she lovingly placed Annabelle in the cot.
"Pizza's here." I heard Jai bellow from the bottom of the stairs. Al's head snapped up at me as I watched her and I just shrugged.
She followed me downstairs and I could tell that she was uncomfortable, but why? At the dinner table, like pigs Jai and Beau couldn't help themselves and they already tucked into the glorious pizza.
"I've overstayed my welcome." She said, frantically glancing at her watch. It was only 6:24pm, what was she worried about.
"Al, take a seat." I said as though her comment was stupid.
With a weary smile she did so. Unlike most girls Al wasn't embarrassed to eat in front of me. That's what I admired about her, the fact that she didn't care that she was eating in front of 3 teenage boys. The taste of Margarita pizza was heavenly and I devoured three slices, I could have eaten more but I chose not to.
Al groaned inwardly and I thought something was wrong, it was then that I heard Annabelle crying once more.
"We really should get a sound proof room for her." Al commented as I followed her up the stairs.
I laughed at her remark and agreed. She tended to Annabelle's needs in the bathroom while I stood in the door way and watched.
"You could help you know." She said, shooting me a glare from the sink.
"You shouldn't glare so much, it will ruin your pretty face." I noted, then realising that I complimented her.
Good one Luke, now she thinks you're freak.
See with Al it's different, it's not like being with other girls who have their pants already open. With Al, she makes me work hard, chase almost, which is the opposite roll, this then makes it so much more attractive. But she's not interested, I am Luke Brooks and I will make her interested.
"I don't glare." She stated when in actual fact at that moment she was glaring.
"No, you don't glare at all." I said with complete sarcasm and I saw a smile roll into her face.
It got to the point where at 9 O'clock finally Annabelle had fallen into a deep sleep. Not that I helped or anything.
"Finally." I said with a sigh of relief that all the crying was over.
"My mum's going to kill me." Al stated, sighing as she looked at the time on her phone.
"Oh Alex hunny." I heard my mum call from her room. "I called your mum and informed her that you'll be staying the night because your project took longer than expected." I noticed the phone book at the end of mums bed and I smiled. Mum you lifesaver.
Al was more than grateful. Not because of you dummy. I think she was just relieved of the fact that she didn't have to drive when she was overly tired, plus it isn't safe.
"I'm not sleeping in the same room as the crying baby." Jai stated quite clearly, not removing his eyes from the television screen.
"Fine, you can sleep on the couch." Mum retorted. Al stood awkwardly, waiting for where she should sleep.
"You can take my bed." I offered to Al but she politely rejected in saying, 'Where would you sleep?'
"I'll take Jai's bed since he's sleeping on the couch." I justified but it made my mum suspicious.
My mum knows about my 'outings', she isn't proud of it and she's asked me to stop but I don't know, sex helps me to relieve pain and pressure. Not that I'd admit it.
"Luke Brooks, pants on at all times." Mum warned me and I could hear Al chuckle from behind me.
After watching an episode of the Simpson's everyone in the house called it a night considering we all either had work or school the next morning.
"I'm surprised that you didn't have an appointment tonight." Al said as she entered my room.
"Yeah well, I decided to have the night off." I admitted but pretended not to be serious.
"Oh really?" She said with an amused look on her face.
"Maybe all the girls have had enough of the Luke show." She added.
"I'm pretty sure hell will freeze over when girls are tired of 'the Luke show.'" When I said 'The Luke Show' my index finger and middle finger on both hands did the indications.
She scoffed on my words, then I felt a shiver down my spine, I knew it was going to be a cold night, I saw it on the weather during the commercial. I watched as Al peeled off her mid-driff top but left her singlet and her rights on. She chucked me her shirt and squealed, "Pervert".
She climbed up to my bed and relaxed in my sheets. I've never let a girl in my bed except for the time I carried Al there when she fell asleep on my couch. I didn mind that it was Al in my bed though. I changed into my pajamas, not caring of Al looked or not, I was pretty proud of my body. Then I slid into Jai's bed, it was a double bed, but not as comfortable as mine.
I laid there for a good half hour, just looking up at the metal bars above me supporting my bed. I evaluated the new detention I was given after my 'Public Display of Affection' earlier today with...what's her name? I don't even care. I saw the look in Al's eyes, she looked at me as though I were pathetic.
Stop thinking about her Luke, she doesn't like you.
"Luke?" Her voice whispered and I almost didn't know if it were apart of my imagination.
"Luke are you awake?" Ler sweet silk like voice asked.
I quietly cleared my throat, "Yeah, is everything alright?" I was slightly concerned.
"Every things fine, it's just I can't sleep because it's a bit cold." She informed me. I was too lazy this winter to change my sheets to winter ones so I still had summer sheets on.
"Do you want to come down here, there is plenty of room and we can keep each other warm?" I found myself talking. Fucking pedophile.
"Do you sleep naked?" She squeaked, slightly embarrassed in asking. I chuckled before informing her that I was fully clothed.
I heard the bed squeak slightly, the sound of someone descending. My heart quickened as I saw Al looming over me. As quickly as possible I scooted over in the bed to give her more room. I know Al and I know she gets uncomfortable with touching so why did she come down. Maybe she was that desperate for warmth.
I watched her petite body shudder as her back faced me, laying on her side. Too much testosterone, I just wanted to wrap my arms around her.
"Luke, I'm still cold." She whispered and I smiled.
I wriggled closer to her and she didn't flinch away. Her body centimeters from mine, my heart beat with loud and fast. Was Al making me nervous?
"Closer." I heard her faintly whisper and soon we were spooning.
I don't want to be an asshole and say 'spooning', although we were in that position we were not intimate. My hand rested on her waist and her back snuggled into my chest. The sweet smell of her shampoo invaded my nose and I could feel myself smiling.
Luke, you're so gay!
"Good night Brooks." I heard her whisper, I almost couldn't hear it over my heavy heart beat. I found it cute that we had our nicknames for eachother.
"Good night Al." I said in a slightly shaky voice.
Al, what are you doing to me?