The Science Project

Asher is a typical high school student- aside from being two years ahead in science. Although he may lack the skills to write a five page paper on some dead author guy, Asher is one of the leading science wiz-kids in all of high school- and he has quite the reputation because of it. However, Asher's motivation for staying ahead in his classes extends far beyond simply enjoying science.

And that motivation has a name.

Mathew Owens.

Mathew is the typical bad boy, and although he is constantly teasing Asher and his friends, he can't hep being head over heals or Mathew's brilliant smile. And now that Asher finally has the chance to get close to Mathew by rigging the "randomized" groups for the annual science fair project, he makes it his mission to find a way to get closer to Mathew and confess his feelings once and for all.

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3. Chapter Two: Brawns over Brains

MATTHEW

Seriously, what the fuck was wrong with the universe?

Was there something I had done wrong to just completely fuck myself over? I mean, I know I have never exactly been the do good-er type of guy, but what twisted fate had decided to pair me up with Asher for the annual science fair? I ran my hands over my face and groaned, staring out over the quad from my perch on the roof of the school. I had had to ditch all my friends to hide how red my face was turning.

No way I was ruining my precious street cred by letting someone see me blush.

But I couldn't help it. Honestly, Asher was just so... Cute? I didn't know how to describe it. Maybe it was the way his bangs swept over his forehead like little, delicate feathers. Maybe it was the sparkle in his bright, blue eyes. Whatever it was, he was almost too cute for me to handle. And the last thing I ever wanted was to find someone cute, let alone someone who was as cocky and self-centered as Asher.

Sure, I had never had an honest conversation with the kid, but it was obvious by the way he acted in class. I couldn't tell if I wanted to punch him or kiss him every time he opened his stupid little mouth. And somehow, I was expected to do a science project with him?! As if I wasn't going to be distracted by his... Everything.

For the record, my feelings for Asher don't extend any farther than "damn that kid is cute." It would be silly of me to actually have a crush on him. Besides him being two years younger than me and strangely a lot smarter, there was no way the two of us would work out. I had been in enough failed relationships to know it wasn't possible. And according to the knowledge I had of Asher, he hadn’t. I don’t think he had ever dated anyone, actually. At least, not that I had seen. And I see a hell of a lot. I’m kind of the king of the school. Not in the popular way, in the everyone is scared of me and no one would dare cross me way.

Everyone but Asher, apparently. I mean, judging by the way he acted in class. Normally, people would never just come right up to me and strike a conversation unless they were already one of my friends, or they had a death wish. Part of me actually found that part of Asher a little charming. The other wanted to throw up because I actually found someone charming.

And as much as I (well, part of me, at least) would love to do the project with Asher, knowing me, I would probably do something stupid if I was alone with him for too long. Like accidentally flirt a little too hard, or maybe get lost in the moment and try to kiss him. It had happened before. I even had a nice, shiny black eye for a week as proof. 

I may or may not have read the atmosphere wrong on that one.

            Anyway, the point was, there was no way I could actually do the project with Asher. Besides, he was a geek. It wasn’t like he would mind. Even if they did work on it together, Asher would probably get fed up once he realized I was a complete idiot, especially when it came to science. The only reason I was in that stupid science class as a senior in high school was because I failed. Twice.

            It’s actually kind of impressive that I managed to fuck up that badly.

            And that was another reason why there was no way I could actually do the science fair project with Asher. I barely even knew what we were supposed to do at a science fair. I had skipped all the fairs my previous years in high school.

            Oh.

            That’s probably why I failed.

            “Um… Matthew…?” The little voice that piped up from behind actually startled me, causing me to jump up and whip around to face the intruder. Wow. Lame. When did I become so lame? After getting over my own embarrassment, I raised my eyebrow at Asher, who was standing there innocently rocking back and forth on his feet. It was actually a little cute the way he was trying to use his wispy red bangs to hide his piercing green eyes, as if that would work.

            I blinked in surprise at my own thoughts. Damnit Matthew, stop calling him cute! I tried to shake the thought away. When was I going to learn? None of my relationships worked- no matter what gender. All pansexual jokes aside, I probably actually would have better luck with a pan.

            Yeah, I said it.

            Remind me to punch Randy for putting that thought in my head.

            “You have a problem, kid? Because I’m a little busy.” I growled at him, stepping forward a little with my hands balled into fists. Intimidation was the only way I knew how to fix my problems. I probably had to work on that, but it was something I could do another day. Maybe I should look into counseling…

            Asher shifted on his feet awkwardly and cleared his throat. It almost looked like someone had pressured him into confronting me. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was that friend of his. What was her name…? Oh, whatever. What mattered was that she was definitely the most terrifying person in the entire school- yeah, even ahead of me. And not because of her strength, either. I heard that one time a teacher gave her an F on an assignment because she was tardy to class, and she had him fired. Don’t ask me how, but I know she did it. No one has seen Mr. Hendricks since that day.

            “Are you going to stand there with your eyes glued to the floor, or are you going to tell me what you came here to tell me? I don’t have all day. I have important shit to get to.”  I raised an eyebrow and waited for him to actually say something. For a child genius, he wasn’t very good at getting his mouth to make sounds.

            Asher huffed a little. “You mean like our science project?” He lifted his eyes and stared right at me. There was a strange coldness in them, but I figured it was probably just my imagination.

            My jaw tightened. Was he seriously back on that again? I thought we settled that whole mess. “What? I told you, science isn’t my thing. Can’t you just do it?” His eyes fell back to the floor again, suddenly losing all the confidence he had built up before. I sighed and shook my head a little. If he was going to try to threaten me, he could have at least prepared himself first.

            Asher straightened up, trying to look me in the eyes even though I could tell he was shaking in his boots. I had to hand it to him, he was faking confidence pretty well. Even if it only lasted five seconds before he backed down again. “No. It’s a partner project, and we are partners. So we are going to do this together.”

            I scoffed and shook my head. “You’re crazy. You’re better off without me.” He seriously was. I would probably mess up the entire project. Or break it. Or mess it up and then break it. Science wasn’t exactly my thing. Ask me to pull apart a car and put it back together again, and I could do it no problem. As me about the chemical composition of a rock and I would probably have no idea what you were talking about. Honestly, I don’t even know what I just said. But hopefully it made a little bit of sense.

            Asher backed down for a moment, looking ready to run, but something changed his mind. “I don’t care. Mrs. Henderson expects us to work together on this, so that’s what we’re going to do.” He attempted to stand tall again, but he faltered a little before getting it right.

            “And since when have I ever cared about what Mrs. Henderson thinks? Seriously, you’ve seen my grades, haven’t you?” I crossed my arms. I had a point, and the fact that Asher shut right up was proof of that. An awkward silence fell upon us for a few moments before Asher gathered himself once again and got right back to arguing.

            For such a small person he sure had a lot of fight in him.

            “After school, meet me at the front gate. We’ll go to my house to start working. I have a bunch of stuff there to start the project.” He looked about ready to leave, as if the conversation was over. Was he serious? Had he listened to me at all?

            “And why the hell should I do that?” I narrowed my eyes and crossed my arms, waiting for him to explain himself. Was he seriously trying to threaten me? Of all people? What in the hell made him think he could do that?

            “Because I know that you have to pass this class, and if you don’t help me…” Asher rolled his shoulders a little and raised his chin, trying to let me know that he was serious. Was he serious? I couldn’t really tell. He didn’t seriously think he could threaten me, did he? “If you don’t help me, I’ll tell Mrs. Henderson that you didn’t do any of the work, which would get you an F on the project, and seeing as this project is worth 30% of our final grade and, from what I’ve seen, you could really use all the points you can get.”

            Ok, so he could threaten me.

            I was actually a little impressed.

A/N: Hope you enjoyed Chapter 2! Now that Asher has blackmailed Matthew, what will happen? Will Matthew agree to work on the project? Will the two grow closer? Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments, and don't forget to like and favorite if you guys like the story. I like knowing people are actually reading and engaging with the story!

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