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.

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15. The Apparent Consort

 

 

 

 

Rhys Miller would be a fool to think everyone in Westerfield High will take the news of Jesy and Rhys together lightly, even if it were just rumours. When they were together, Jesy refused to answer any of their schoolmates' inquiries, knowing they wouldn't believe it even if she says they were just friends. They would mostly think that the two were just trying to keep it a secret.

Now, Rhys is known by everyone as the Cactus Queen's Consort, which he personally thinks is ridiculous. He was silently surprised they even know the word, but he has no doubt that Google had something to do with it.They'll never make him a king, even if he apparently had done something no other man has ever done before, he knew that. He was too off the popularity radar before he hopped out of her car that day and later showed up 'holding hands' with Jesy- even if it was actually Jesy trying to drag him to the cafeteria. People will believe what they want to believe. And those two events alone will solidify their beliefs and surely warrant Rhys two things he never wanted in his teen life: overbearing attention and high school drama.

Rhys grimaced as Dean, their resident lacrosse extraordinaire, slammed him against the lockers in the typical bully manner. Great, he thought glumly. Now he was a walking target, too. Rhys held shrunk back as Dean's face grew closer, his stinky cigarette and mint mixed breath meeting Rhys's nostrils.

 He didn't have a death warrant, though, and never voiced the thought out loud.

"How did a fag like you get someone as hot as her?" Dean said, in a disgusted tone. "You don't even want to fight! Jesy deserves someone better."

Yes, Rhys silently agreed, she does and it surely not you.

"Ayers!" someone shouted from afar. "Let him go!"

Rhys twisted his head to see his saviour. His eyes widened when he saw Marc.

Dean immediately let go of Rhys's shirt.

"H-hey, man!" Dean shakily greeted, "Rhys and I were just joking around, weren't we?" Dean said, giving Rhys a fake grin. Rhys did not reply and only glared at him. Marc narrowed his eyes at Dean who now looked nervous.

"I don't think you were, Ayers," Marc said, taking one step forward. Dean might be a bit muscular, but everyone knew Marc was bigger and stronger than him. "Listen up, Rhys here is a good friend of mine and I don't like it when you're pushing him around."

"I wasn't, promise!" Dean tried to say as he glanced at Marc's clenched fists.

Marc gave him a menacing smirk that Rhys secretly found impressive. Dean was trembling now.

"You better not be," Marc said. He then looked around, eyeing their spectator's and Dean's teammates. "If any of you try to hurt Rhys Miller, you will not only have Jesy McKinnley's wrath to deal with, but the entire Court's as well. And that,"  he cracked his knuckles. Dean took three steps back, "-includes me."

Everyone watched in awe as Dean staggered back from Marc's unexpected punch.

"You got that, Ayers?"

Dean nodded hurriedly before running away from Marc, the crowd of spectators parting to give him way. Marc turned to Rhys who observed the scene.

"You alright, mate?" Marc asked as he walked towards Rhys. Rhys nodded, a grimace following when Marc patted him hard on the back. 

"Thanks," Rhys said, rubbing his chest area.

Seeing as the scene was over, the crowd was beginning to dispel.

"Listen, Jesy told is about your situation earlier and we're glad to have you on board."

"You do know I'm only going to hang around for two weeks, right?"

Marc chuckled like it was the funniest thing in the world.

"What's so funny?"

Marc only ruffled Rhys's hair which looked awkward seeing as the two were about the same height.

"You are," he said, "Mate, you're the first person Jesy allowed to interview her- let alone, hang out with us. She hates bringing people in seeing as most people from Westerfield only sees her a trophy to be won. You're different. And I can see that she likes you for that."

 Rhys flushed at what he said, his ears tinging with pink. "Jesy does not like me," he said, although his tone sounded a bit morose at the thought. Marc rolled his eyes which looked uncharacteristic of him.

"Believe what you want to believe, Rhys Miller. But she surely does. Just wait until these two weeks come to an end, she'll tell you she does."

"You sound so sure," Rhys pointed out. Marc waved him off.

"It's because I am," he said. He started to walk away but stopped as if he had just remembered something. "Before I forgot; Kara sent me to tell you that we'll all be meeting for some gelato after school, are you in? Jesy mentioned you like Italian."

Rhys thought about it. It will surely give him a new perspective about the entire Royal Court. Maybe he can even add a paragraph or two about them.

"Will Jesy be there?" he asked. Marc smirked as if he knew something Rhys didn't.

"She doesn't have work until five today, so yeah, she will be. Apparently, her co-worker wanted to switch shifts. Meet us by the parking lot at three; don't be late."

 

 

*

 

"Hey man," Chris greeted Rhys as he sat down for Economics. For the last two days, Rhys had only seen his best friend at this period. He tried his best to squish the guilt he was feeling but found that he couldn't.

"How's life?" Rhys asked. Chris shrugged.

"Boring as hell, seeing as you're not there," he replied. Rhys's guilt multiplied again. Chris let out a laugh. "I'm fine, dude. I know why you need to do that. I'm not offended."

"We're supposed to get some gelato later after classes," he tried to say. "You can come if you want."

Chris shook his head. "And spend the entire looking nervous around the Royal Court? I'll crap myself, no thanks."

"They're not bad. They are actually pretty nice," Rhys said, remembering his encounters with them.

"That's because you have their Queen's approval," Chris pointed out.

"They hate it when they're called by those names," Rhys found himself saying. "They think it's stupid."

"Rhys, half the things in this school is stupid. You have to learn to live with it or you'll never fit in."

Rhys found the idea not entirely terrible now. He hated all these superficial classifications. He wished that after his article was published, everyone will see how stupid everything was.

"I'm going to ask if you can sit with us tomorrow," Rhys said. Chris tried to say something to hinder him but Rhys was not having any of it.

"You'll have time to prepare for it. I don't want you sitting alone at our table, and don't even try to say that those other people we sit with were there. I saw you earlier. You don't even talk to them," he added the last part with narrowed eyes when Chris tried to butt in. His best friend sighed. 

"You can try if you want, but I doubt they'll let you."

"I'll just tell them you're my best friend and I hate to see you sitting alone."

"But the Court's table is often off limits. They'll probably eat me alive there."

"I won't let anything happen to you," Rhys assured him. Chris scoffed.

"Yeah, right. I heard of your encounter with Dean Ayers, by the way. Really nice fighting skills."

Rhys suddenly turned embarrassed. Great, now everyone thinks he's a wimp.

"Shut up, the teacher's coming."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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