Author: magalina PM
Most likely Complete. The recipe: Step 1. Find two antisocial, parent hating, water loving rich boys. Step 2. Stir in a notsoaverage love affair. Step 3. Add a pinch of weird tingly sensations. The cookie flavour? Life at Hughes Academy. SlashRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 17 - Words: 56,243 - Reviews: 313 - Favs: 251 - Follows: 202 - Updated: 10-24-08 - Published: 11-20-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2278916
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"We'll have tomorrow, if we make through tonight."
-- Eli's POV --
Well, looking back on it, it probably hadn't been the brightest idea. I was aware that Keith's father's warning had been directed at both of us, but Madison looked drained. He was pale and wide-eyed, and the careless way he kept talking was starting to freak me out a bit. He didn't even seem to realize how he sounded, how unnatural it was for him to act like that, even on a normal day. It was disturbing to see him so…resigned. The way he accepted everything Dr. Delaney threw at him was weird and he didn't even seem to suspect anything strange about that man. I wasn't an expert on the matter but I was pretty sure that was not the way an interrogation was supposed to go.
And how he had burst into the room earlier, like Armstrong was right at his heels. It was with that picture in my head and the feeling of his arms beneath my hands, taut with…something – fear most likely even though he claimed he was alright – that I went down the stairs and back to where the event was still going on. The two vending machines inside the building were out of service, or maybe they had unplugged them for the occasion. Either way each one got a kick.
Outside everyone was up and about, students showing around their parents and a few teachers huddled in little groups, everyone with a tall glass in hand, a few cigarettes behind a few backs here and there. Armstrong was nowhere to be seen, nor were my or Madison's parents.
On the side further from me, right through all the little tables was a longer table covered in white, with a wide selection of drinks and more tall glasses than I could count. I strode as quickly as I could – for some reason my legs weren't feeling as steady as they should have – and only knocked over one chair before I was clutching a glass in my hand.
I have no idea what I poured into it, but it was bubbly and clear and a second later it was all over my chest, soaking my T-shirt. I had turned around and someone had knocked the glass out of my grip. I snapped with more force than I would have any other time and cursed loudly before meeting the other boy's gaze.
"Sorry, didn't mean to," he said in a bored tone, holding his hands up and backing a small step away. He looked vaguely familiar but I didn't even tried to place him, I wheeled back and poured another drink, this time it was bright yellow and half of it ended up all over my hand. I cursed again. "You're Madison Brennan's roommate."
"Yeah, excuse me." I went to walk past him; I needed to get back to the room. What if Armstrong wasn't down there because he was upstairs with Madison? But he reached out and grabbed my elbow before I could leave, making me spill the drink again.
"Fuck, what the hell do you want?" I all but screamed in his face. His blank expression didn't falter; he just raised his eyebrows slightly and wiped his hand on my shirt. I thought the glass was going to crack in my hand.
"My father said to talk to you. He's friends with your parents." He said slowly, his dark eyes quickly scanning my outfit, "I would have talked to you before, if I didn't think you have really poor taste in friends. I was actually waiting to catch you alone."
I was only in the mood to stand one straightforward asshole, and this guy wasn't him. With a dark look in his direction I stomped over to the drinks' table again and poured another glass of the yellow stuff.
"You're really boring to talk to. No wonder your parents have to ask people to start conversations with you," he said, examining his nails.
"Who the fuck are you?" I snapped. He looked up and he seemed insulted that I had to ask. Or maybe it was the way I asked. He didn't answer right away so I started walking back to the dorm, a little slower so I wouldn't drop the drink again. He fell into step with me.
"My father told me your parents were talking about me." I ignored him and he gave an aggravated sigh, "Timothy Pitts." The name did ring a bell. Maybe.
"Charmed," I spat. We were really close to the building before it occurred to me that maybe I should bring Madison something to eat too. We had passed a tray with little sandwiches and I went back to snatch a few. Timothy was right behind me.
"My father used to work with yours," he tried again.
"Right." Oh, he was the one that Madison didn't like – the one he pointed out to me when we were supposed to be mingling. I turned to take a better look at him. Brown hair, dark brown eyes, about my height, nothing that really stood out. "My friend doesn't like you either."
He frowned. "Why not? What did I ever do to him?" he asked, raising his chin and crossing his arms over his chest.
"How should I know?" I shrugged. "What did he ever do to you?"
"Nothing." His eyes narrowed, suspicious. "Nothing, really. I just don't like him. Never have."
"Well, I do, so back off." I started walking again.
"Why?" he asked when he caught up.
"Why do you like him? I always thought he was annoying. He was always alone and then people started saying stuff about him and-"
"People should go to hell. I'm busy. Fuck off, would you?" I grunted and when we finally reached the steps that led to the dorm's entrance he stopped me again.
"Mr. Armstrong was looking for you. He looked vicious. What did you do?" He glanced at the glass in my hand. "You spiked the punch, didn't you?"
I opened my mouth to tell him off again when a voice behind me made me choke and my heart stop for a second before starting to pound again full speed.
"Mr. Hacker, may I have a word?" Armstrong said and I could hear the smirk in his tone and his eyes on the back of my neck. Something in my face might have tipped Timothy off because he actually gave me an apologetic look and left. "Mr. Hacker?" Armstrong said again and this time the glass did crack a bit in my hand. I quickly considered throwing it at Armstrong's face and making a run for it.
Instead I slowly turned around, and the sight of him, standing there, looking smug was enough to make me see red.
"What?" I choked out, venom dripping in my tone.
"Now, Mr. Hacker, that's not the way you talk to your principal," he scolded and for a second there, he looked murderous. I took a step back and wondered how far I could make it if I ran then. Maybe as far as my room. Was Armstrong capable of pounding a door down? He wasn't small; he could probably break my arm if I ran and he caught me….
"Would you mind stepping into my office for a moment? I believe there's something we ought to discuss."
"No way," I said before I could stop myself. He frowned and took a step forward.
"Don't make me force you," he warned in the same conversational tone he'd been using. I took another step back and almost fell on my ass when I tripped over the stairs. Madison's drink spilled all over my arm. I didn't care.
"No," I repeated.
"Okay, then. Let's go up to your room and we can have a talk there. Maybe Mr. Brennan can join us." His smirk widened.
"No." My voice kind of cracked and that seemed to make him happier.
"My office then?"
Armstrong was sitting behind his desk and I was standing in the middle of the room. Holley was outside the door, probably with his ear pressed to it and one hand inside his trousers. Armstrong kept smiling in a really disturbing way.
"Your parents…they are fixed on the idea that Mr. Brennan is a bad influence on you. They told me the most peculiar story, about some lies he's been feeding you."
I really wished Armstrong would cut to the chase. We both knew what he was talking about, but what I didn't know was what he was planning to do about it.
"After I talked to them, I figured I should talk to Mr. Brennan about it, but then…well, I've known him for a long time now and I thought it was more urgent to set things straight with you first." He paused and stared at me for a moment before placing his open palm over his desk. "It's funny how things can change so fast. I understand that you two are getting along really well these days but it was just a few months back when Mr. Brennan was up here begging me to change you to another room." The way he was running his hand over the table made me realize he meant up there and I gritted my teeth and tried to block any images of Madison and Armstrong together out of my head.
He's doing it on purpose, I repeated over and over to myself. For some reason he wanted me to get angry and I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction.
"He has a special way to ask for things but…you've probably realized that a long time ago."
"What- what did you want to talk about?" I asked, my hands in tight fists at my sides, "Sir."
He sighed and leaned back on his chair with his fingers intertwined over his stomach. "I'm just concerned… I wouldn't want those rumors spreading where they could cause trouble. These lies Madison keeps insisting on blurting could really hurt me if they reached the wrong ears."
"I know he's not lying," I said, my voice as even as I could manage and Armstrong barked out a laugh.
"You couldn't possibly be telling me you believe him? Please, he just likes people paying attention to him. This has happened before."
I frowned and tried to ignore the uneasy feeling that was starting to grow in the pit of my stomach. Madison wasn't lying, I'd seen it, he wouldn't.
"I saw him coming in here."
"I saw what happened, I saw what happened today. While the orchestra was playing." I lied and all trace of doubt I might have had inside me vanished when Armstrong stopped smiling and started glaring.
"Nothing happened," he said and got up from his chair. "You didn't see anything."
I backed away some more steps. My eyes were set on him, waiting for him to jump over his desk or something but he just walked calmly around it. I didn't even noticed when I passed the door and ended up cornered on the darkest part of the office. There was another door, half-open behind me. I quickly glanced at it, hoping it was some kind of exit but it just a bathroom.
I considered again the chances of Armstrong being capable of pounding through a door.
"I did," I said and hoped he would just keep talking and wouldn't try anything. He looked more and more angry the closer he got. I probably could only fight him for so long. He was, after all, bigger than me. That made think of Madison, who was scrawny and light and I wondered if he ever tried to fight Armstrong back.
"What is it with you boys and making stuff like this up?" He stood only a few feet away from me, I was almost against the wall. "I think you secretly want it to be true…." He went on, "You probably enjoy the idea of Mr. Brennan underneath m-"
I threw myself head first at him. I didn't even plan it, he was too close, he was slowly walking closer and he was talking about Madison and before I knew it he was on the floor and I was sprawled on top of him. A blink, and then he was on top of me and his hands were pressing my shoulders against the floor.
"Or maybe," he panted on my face, "you are the one who wants to be under me." His breath smelled like mint, some strands of his hair were falling over his eyes and his hands were slowly kneading my shoulders.
I lifted my hands up to his chest with a grunt and went to push him away when he pressed his whole weight over me. He let go of my shoulders, clasped my wrists, and slammed them over my head.
"Get off me!" I writhed underneath him, trying to kick him or free my hands but the bastard looked like he was enjoying it. He was breathing hard over me, smirking and- "Fuck!" He rotated his hips against mine; he was getting hard and I was going to be sick.
I thrashed and arched my upper half trying to make him lose balance but he just pressed harder. My arms were starting to hurt. His grip never eased.
If I was nervous before, I was terrified by now and I couldn't help the whine that escaped my mouth when he took my two wrists in one hand and the other dropped to the bottom hem of my shirt. I lifted my head from the floor and looked down to see what he was doing. His hair brushed against my forehead but he wasn't close enough for me to try to crack his skull or anything. His fingers were fumbling with my pants button and with another whine that was half a growl and came from the back of my throat as I tried to shift my waist away from him.
I heard him chuckle.
"Just a second, Mr. Hacker," he breathed and ran his hand over the front of my pants.
"Let go!" It was almost a scream.
Then…it was all pretty fast. I heard voices outside getting louder and louder. I took a deep breath and Armstrong removed his hand from my crotch and covered my mouth while I started trying to roll around. Suddenly, the door burst open and Holley staggered in, followed by an out of breath Madison and Keith's father. I felt all my muscles relax at once and when Armstrong's hold on my arms slackened I jerked myself free and smashed my forehead against his nose.
He rolled away and then Madison was next to me and Dr. Delaney was locking the door behind him.
Armstrong was sitting on the floor against the wall near the bathroom door. He was holding a wet cloth over his bloody nose and watching Dr. Delaney as he walked around the room. Holley was standing next to him, looking scared and sending furtive glances at the door every now and then, and I was sitting on one of the leather couches, my whole body limp but my heart still beating fast. Madison was next to me, his side pressing into mine, his knees drawn up and held by his hands with his cheek pressed to them resting on top. He wouldn't stop glaring at Armstrong.
I remember staring into space for a while and trying not to think what could have happened if the door hadn't opened when it did. I heard Dr. Delaney finishing a call.
"Okay," he said after he'd hung up, he sounded oddly cheerful. "My associates should be getting here soon. Keith will show them the way up so we are all going to sit and wait." He took his eyes off of Madison and me to set them on Armstrong and Holley. "We're going to sit still and wait quietly."
After Dr. Delaney had locked the door earlier he had stalked over to Armstrong, who was holding his nose and was red in the face, and said something to him that I couldn't hear. Armstrong's eyes had widened and he hadn't said a word ever since.
Now he looked pale as he lowered the cloth from his face and spoke for the first time in nearly twenty minutes.
"They're going to start wondering where I am," he murmured. His voice sounded husky and low and I noticed he had a cut on his upper lip too. It made feel a little better and I hoped Dr. Delaney would let me maybe kick his face in before his associates (whoever they were) got there.
"Mmh, true." Dr. Delaney said. "No problem." He walked to the window behind Armstrong's desk and took out his phone again. "Keith," he said. "Keith, wh- No, I will not hold on. Get your hands out of that boy's pants for a minute. I need to ask you something." He waited a moment. "Ask Francis to go to a teacher and say that the principal sent him to tell he wasn't feeling well and- No, not him. The principal! Christ, listen to me. Yes, he's not feeling well and they should continue the event without him." He paused again. I felt Madison moving next to me and I grabbed his leg before he could get up. I was sure he was about to jump at Armstrong, armed only with teeth and his wimpy fists and that wouldn't have ended well. He sat back down and leaned against me even more while Dr. Delaney kept talking. "No, you stay there; you have to lead to other up here. Stay there, I can see you through the window." He hung up and when he turned around there was a small smile playing on his lips. "Kids," he said fondly.
I rested my head back and closed my eyes. I wanted to go to sleep, perhaps for a day or two. A lot had happened and the day wasn't even over yet.
"What's- what's happening now?" I heard Holley squeak out.
"We are waiting for my associates."
"What's happening when they get here?" No one answered him. The room fell silent.
A while later Madison stirred next to me again. I tightened my grip on his leg but he just turned his face towards mine and whispered my name against my ear. It was the first thing he had said since he came running into the office. With my eyes still closed I sank lower into the couch, leaned my head against his shoulder and fell asleep.
When I opened my eyes the room was filled with people I didn't know. There where about seven men wandering around, opening drawers and talking to Dr. Delaney. Keith was near the door, looking amused as he watched Armstrong sit helplessly next to the bathroom door. Someone was talking to Madison. I shifted against him and saw a man I'd never seen before. He was asking him questions about Armstrong. Madison answered the same way he answered Dr. Delaney in our room, evading but mostly resigned.
The strange man caught me looking and gave me a friendly smile. I didn't quite know what to make of it. I had no idea what was going on. I had thought Dr. Delaney would be bringing policemen or something but most of these guys were dressed in jeans and T-shirts. The guy that had smiled at me was wearing a hawaiian shirt and he was sitting on the floor like he was just discussing a football game with a friend instead of asking a kid what his teacher had done to him.
Madison looked mostly at ease, except for the way his body felt stiff against mine, but I didn't think he'd relax until Armstrong was out of the room. And then everything seemed to halt. All the conversations ended, Keith stood up straighter, and everyone turned to look at our principal. He had been looking down but apparently he sensed something change in the air because he looked up, startled.
Two men walked over to him, seized him by the arms and hauled him up. Armstrong started to protest but the tallest man put a heavy hand on his shoulder and he paled and shut up. I watched silently as they walked him out the door. Only one man was holding Holley, and the rest followed in silence. The one with the Hawaiian shirt ruffled Keith's hair and waved at me and Madison before walking out.
"That's that, boys. You don't need to worry about anything anymore; we'll take care of everything from now on." Dr. Delaney smiled and walked out too.
Madison and I just stared after them, having no clue of what had happened.
"Where are they taking him?" Madison asked Keith.
Keith shrugged. "I'm not sure. But you don't need to know." He smiled a big lazy grin before disappearing through the door.
There was a pause.
"What the hell…just happened exactly?" I asked this time.
"Who the hell is Keith's dad?" Madison sounded as wary as I felt. "You think they're gonna, like, throw him in a lake with cement shoes on or something like that?" Now he sounded kind of hopeful.
"I don't know…."
After a short silence Madison laughed a bit. Then a bit more. And then he was cackling like a maniac and he finally looked relaxed and tired as he stretched on the couch and covered his face in his hands.
On the way back to our room I looked up and spotted a few scattered clouds in the sky. When we got to the room, I flopped onto my bed and closed my eyes again. I felt Madison moving around until I stopped him and made him lay with me. We were both on our backs and he reached for my hand, gave it a light squeeze, and said thanks.
I didn't mind sleeping all tangled up under the covers because it finally started raining that night and the heat wasn't suffocating anymore. It felt good to have someone warm next to me even if he kicked in his sleep and I couldn't help kicking back.
I'm really, really sorry for taking so long and for the chapter being so bad XD Really. I think next will be the last chapter…I wished I had planned things better .
Thanks to Lain for editing and everyone for the favs, alerts and reviews
I think I had something else to say but I can't remember…
Chapter title from: "We'll have tomorrow" (Little Shop of Horrors)
Edit 2010: Guys, I know this isn't finished. I'm really sorry, maybe some day I'll come back to it and write that last chapter I promised years ago. For now, it's ending here :(