The Prickled Heart

If there is one girl any guy in Westerfield High is afraid of, it's Jesy McKinnley. Forget the fact that she may as well be the hottest chick in campus, she's off limits; and not in the way that you might think.

When the resident school magazine is one scoop away from completion (a.k.a. 'The Hottest Scoop of The Year') it's up to the not-so-awesome Rhys Miller to save the day with the hottest topic the editor-in-chief could come up with. Unluckily for him, it just had to be Jesy.

Rated [Yellow] for future scenes.


16. Gelato Is Another Word For Heaven






Gelato di Claudia is apparently the best place in town where you can find real Italian gelato. Rhys wondered why he never knew that. Being the Italian cuisine enthusiast he was, he was amazed at the array of gelato flavours the place had.

Cioccolato fondente, crema, arancia, fragola and liquirizia were only a few of the flavours he saw.


"Gelato è un'altra parola per il Cielo!"



There was a phrase in Italian painted on one of the adjacent walls. Trying to remember what it meant, he was able to deduce it as: "Ice Cream is another word for Heaven!" From beside him, Jesy hummed.

"I never knew you know how to read Italian," she said, impressed. Rhys flushed at their close proximity more than the fact that he apparently said the words out loud. How on earth will he ever get over his budding crush on her? Yes, he admitted it. Chris was right. He was starting to like her. Who wouldn't? She was starting to prove she was more than a pretty face.

"I took lessons when I was a kid," he explained. "That's what actually made me like Italian cuisine. I liked how cool their food were named."

Jesy laughed, a sound that Rhys thinks he'll always like her laugh.

"What does mandorla mean?" she asked, pointing to a flavour.

"Almond," Rhys immediately said. Jesy smiled when she saw he was right. There was a small print of the English translation at the bottom of the flavour name cards. Feeling awkward, Rhys turned his attention towards the other members of the Royal Court. They were at the counter ordering their gelato.

"Hmm, I think I'll go for some blueberry today," Jesy said from beside him. "Mer-"


Jesy scoffed jokingly. "Now I think you're just showing off," she said. Rhys shrugged at her apologetically. She smirked and ask what he wanted.

"Bacio," he automatically said, freezing when he realised she'll ask what that means. He immediately tried to explain. "The word actually means kiss, but it's also a candy in Italy like Hershey's kisses."

"Oh," Rhys noticed Jesy's cheeks had reddened at the mention of the word kiss. He cleared his throat.

"Uh, I'll order our gelato," he said, hurrying over to the counter.

"One mirtillo and one bacio, please," he said to the girl manning the counter. The girl was obviously of Italian descent. He stiffened when he felt Jesy stand beside him. Rhys handed the girl a tenner.

"I can pay for myself, you know," Jesy said when she noticed he also paid for hers. Rhys only smiled at her shyly.

"I know," he accepted his change with a smile. He drop the coins he got into tip can beside the cash register which made the girl beam and give him a jovial thanks. Jesy did not say anything as she accepted her cup.

"The others are at the corner," she said, nodding at the area when he started to look around the gelato place. Rhys smiled and started to follow her to where the others were at. When they got there, he noticed the knowing looks on the group's face. It seems as if the moment between him and Jesy was orchestrated by them. He should've known. He also noticed the only seats left was beside one another.

Jesy, apparently not noticing her friends' motives, sat on the chair nearest Kara. Rhys hesitantly sat beside her, casting an accusing glance at Marc who looked smug all of a sudden.

"What did you guys get?" Kara asked in her natural preppy tone. She was leaning her head on Marc's shoulder.

"Blueberry," Jesy quietly said, quickly glancing at Rhys who did not notice.

"Bacio," Rhys said when saw that Kara was looking at him now.

"What does that mean?" Allie curiously asked. Rhys hesitated for a moment.

"Uh, it's a candy from Italy," he was not to keen to explain what the word can also mean to the group. They will certainly get the wrong idea. The others went curious when they saw that both Jesy and Rhys were blushing now. They just knew something had happened when they were ordering earlier. They just needed to know what.

Shifting under their gazes, Rhys tried to bring up a new topic.

"Uh, can I ask if my friend can stay at your table tomorrow?" he asked. "I'm just really concerned about him being alone in our old table. He's really nice and... yeah. I'm not going to force you guys, though. I mean, I'm grateful you let me sit with you all and-"

It was Allie who stopped his rant.

"Rhys," she looked at the people around the table, "you and your friend are more than welcome to share the table with us even after the two weeks are up. It's actually Jesy you have to ask, though. She gets really uncomfortable around strangers."

Rhys nervously looked at Jesy who was staring at her cup. "Jesy?"

She looked up at him. "Yeah?" her blush had lessened now, although she sounded a bit breathless.

"Uh," Rhys hesitated, "Can my friend sit with us tomorrow? I'm just worried that I'm not around anymore and we've been friends for a long time. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings."

"Uh, who is it?" Jesy sounded strange all of a sudden.

"His name is Chris," Rhys said. "He's my best friend."

"Is he single?" Daniel asked, sounding hopeful. Rhys scratched his head.

"I think he's seeing someone," he replied which made Daniel pout.

"I didn't think I considered your friend's feelings when I dragged you to our table, Jesy said sounding guilty. "You can bring him over tomorrow. I'm sure he's nice considering he's your best friend."

Rhys smiled at her, looking relieved, "Thank you so much," he said.

Jesy smiled. "It's your table now, too."

The others all seem to agree.

Rhys surprisingly felt accepted because of that.






They all parted ways after that. Jesy, seeing as she got a ride with Rhys went to his mum's car while Daniel rode with Allie. Kara and Marc, Rhys found out, uses Marc's truck everyday which testified how serious the two were with each other. Rhys found it sweet, in a way.

"Uh," Rhys said as both of them watch the other's vehicle pull out of the gelato place's parking area. "Do you want me to drive you to the emporium?"

Seeing as it was already 4:35 and Jesy will be late for work if she tried going back to her house and get her car. Jesy looked at him, feeling awkward.

"Will it be alright with you?" she asked. Rhys smiled.

"Yeah, I've got nothing to do, anyway," he said as he pulled out of their parking area and into the direction of Miss Maggie's Magical Pet Emporium.






When they got to the pet emporium, Jesy was shocked when Rhys not only drove her there, but accompanied her inside.

"What are you doing?" she asked. Rhys scratched his head, looking sheepish.

"I just wanted to ask what time you're going to finish your shift," he said.

Jesy was intrigued, "Why?"

"I'll pick you up after."

Jesy shook her head.

"You don't have to. I can catch a bus or something like that."

Rhys frowned.

"I don't mind. You know, if you don't tell me, I'll probably just stay outside and wait until you're done for the day," he said which made Jesy sigh.

"You're not going to let this go, aren't you?" Rhys grinned and shook his head.


Jesy sighed again, glancing around the pet emporium. "My shift finishes at eight. If you're here at that time, you can drive me home. If not, I'm leaving."

Rhys grinned, knowing she was joking.

"I'll be back by 7:30," he told her. That made Jesy smile.




This blog has been rated as CONFIDENTIAL.


9/21/ 2010




It's 8:15. I just got home. Well, I went home earlier, but I went back to pick up Jesy from her work. I know, it seems weird, doesn't it? I'm not doing it to make her swoon or anything (or maybe I did) but I don't like the thought of her walking or taking a bus late at night. It's a friendly concern, okay? We should've thought out this carpool plan of ours more. All in all, this day had been a blast. I managed to avoid my mum's question about why I need the car so late and I had authentic Italian gelato. It really does tastes like heaven. Anyway, my meeting with that publisher is drawing near and I'm both excited and anxious about it.








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