Author's Notes: YOU GUYS, THIS IS DRIPPING IN CLICHES. I don't know how it got to this point. It is ridiculously cheesy and mushy! (I am warning you haha!) The story also completely slipped out of my hands. Everything went in a different direction from what I initially imagined. It is insane! If you do read the whole thing, good luck! (I know I couldn't read it after I finished. It is so long!)



At 3 AM "I'm Too Sexy" began blasting from under my bed. I was bound and gagged. / One-Shot.

Jack Richards' moans of pain brought music to my ears.

Music that went like: "muahaha!" which was then followed by "bwahaha!"

This was of course repeated many times. It truly warmed my heart.

The guy in front of me was clutching his face and muttering, "Going. Kill. You. So. Dead."

But he totally had it coming. See, Jack Richards was an ass. Jack Richards also just saw me half-naked.

My reaction was to throw a shoe at his face.

And, well, it wasn't my fault I had the arm of Superman! Or was it Superwoman? Whatever it was, it caused me great happiness – happiness I hadn't felt since I poured apple juice on his head. That was actually last week.

So it was safe to say Jack and I weren't the best of friends. We weren't friends. Full. Stop.

Which was why I was clutching the towel around my chest tightly and pointing to the door. "Get out, get out, you pervert!"

This was what he got for coming inside my room just when I was going to drop the towel and change. My ugg boots never had a better use than slapping Jack across his pretty face. Cue my evil somewhat maniacal chuckle!

Said pretty face was being clutched by both hands, but I could see his narrowed gaze. "If I was going to perve, it wouldn't be on you," he retorted.

I huffed, forgetting for a moment that the only thing I was wearing was a towel around my body. "Actions speak louder than words!" I replied while motioning him to leave. "Now get out!"

For a moment Jack just glared at me, but he walked out anyway, taking slow steps backwards.

I slammed the door at his face the moment he left the vicinity of my room.

Jack: 0. Sharon: 1.


The problem with Jack was that I had to know him. Or, rather, correction: there were many problems with Jack. The biggest problem was that his mum was my mum's best friend.

So after a day of school where I was thinking I'd escaped his oh-not-so wonderful presence – bam! He was there on my couch, grinning. And it was a familiar grin; it was the grin he gave me ten years ago, right before he sneaked up behind me and cut off one of my pigtails with a pair of scissors. Seven-year-old Jack Richards had no mercy back then either. And seven-year-old me? I drew on his face the next time I slept over at his house, with a permanent marker that did not come off easily. Hah!

Well, back to the situation at hand.

Seventeen-year-old Jack Richards was no better, grinning his oh-I-am-so-going-to-get-you grin at me while he lay sprawled across my couch.

I would say he looked demented but it was a blatant lie. Puberty was unforgivably kind to him. The girls at school thought so too.

Humph! But I knew the truth.

Under that seemingly pretty exterior, Jack Richards was evil.

"Hello, Sharon," he said, smiling, his amber eyes fixed on me. Some might say he had eyes like the devil...but not me, of course.

"Hello, Jack." I matched his smile with one of my own, trying to work out his game.

Jack just continued to smile, like he knew something I didn't. Not that I wanted to know what he knew – nothing good ever came out of Jack's mouth. True fact.

I decided to let him know how much I appreciated his presence at my house. I drew my hands together and exclaimed, "How nice of you to drop by!"

I hoped he could sense the sarcasm I tried to fit in.

"How nice, Sharon!" came my mum's voice as she entered the lounge room. She was smiling at us both, and she and Jack had some kind of understanding I didn't know about. From the look in Jack's eyes and the way my mum's hands were clasped together, it was not a good thing.

My mum did not notice my bemusement. "You two are always arguing. Isn't it so nice to get along?"

Jack brushed his face where my boot had hit him. Weakling. "Sharon and I are really tight, Mrs Kirley," he said, smiling some more.

Well. If he wanted to play that game. "Spending time with Jack is the highlight of my day." My tone matched his for sincerity.

My mum did not notice anything amiss. "Great. Then you two will get along fine while Jack stays with us, Sharon!"

I was about to say something else when her statement sunk in. Stays with us? Jack staying with us? What was this folly!

From the slight frown on Mum's face and the grin on Jack's, it seemed I voiced my last sentiment. I tried to look abashed. Except not really.

"My parents are visiting my grandparents in Tamworth," Jack offered as an explanation.

I refused to take it. It was not a good reason to torture me. "And you couldn't go too?" I asked bluntly.

He arched an eyebrow. "And miss the opportunity to bask in your presence? Why would I want to do that, Sharon?" He gave me a look that said everything he didn't say aloud.

And it wasn't very nice. Jerk.

Mum was smiling like he gave me a compliment. "Irene and I decided it'd be best of Jack stayed for the whole of the HSC year."

Horror sunk in. Did she just say what I thought she said? My life flashed before my eyes – stuck under the same roof as Jack Richards for a whole year! I could just think of all the things he could do to me while I was unsuspectingly asleep. No where would be safe!

"Calm down," Jack said, grinning at the look on my face. "It's not for a whole year. It's for two weeks."

I could breathe again! Then I realised two weeks was still two weeks, and two weeks was fourteen days. It meant we would be in the same vicinity as each other day and night.

Still, I supposed it was better than a year.

I pursed my lips together.

"Isn't this nice? You can help each other with homework!" My mum either completely ignored my irritation or was unaware of it.

Jack had the nerve to look smug. "I guess we're roomies."

My mum beamed before leaving. She had no idea what she was inflicting on her only daughter.

When my mum was gone, Jack's smile disappeared. He stretched lazily and moved his hands behind his head.

Great. He was already making himself feel at home.

Then his gaze raked over my body from head to toe, taking in my oversized t-shirt and wet blonde hair and making me feel uncomfortably self-conscious. I folded my arms over my chest and frowned.

Jack grinned easily. "How was your shower?" I didn't know how anyone could make something innocent sound so...not very nice.

"How's your face?" Ha! I was the queen of comebacks, of course.

He merely smiled. He motioned himself with one hand lazily. "What do you think?" He waggled his eyebrows.

Hello, Mr Vain. "I think you have problems." Which he obviously did, the ones dealing with oversized egos.

"I think you're jealous," he replied calmly.

I drew my brows together. This conversation was going nowhere, just like everything to do with Jack. It's like we met for the first time again, aged six. He told me I was sitting in his spot at the sandpit. I refused to move. He kicked my sandcastle. I pushed him down face first. It went downhill ever since.

I pretended to consider Jack's statement seriously. "Oh, I am so jealous," I agreed. "I am jealous that your head is this big" – I opened my arms wide – "and one day it will pop! Ka-boom! And then your brain will splatter and I will laugh."

I demonstrated by laughing ridiculously, a continuous, "Ha! Ha! Ha!" I'd like to mention I was very good at it. I came with many secret – albeit pointless – talents.

Jack was trying to give me a you-are-so-weird look but he couldn't stop the slight curve that was appearing at one end of his mouth.

I gave him an insincere smile and curtsied.

Then I ran away upstairs to my room super fast. See, this way I could get the last word in. Yup!

(Well, until dinner, but it's all about in the moment.)

Plan: develop Superman's speed. Then I could run down to the dinner table, grab food, and run back to my room. And no one would notice because I'd be super fast.

I sighed. Alas, I was only human.

I opened the door slowly and peeked into the corridor. No sign of Jack. Phew.

I took a wary step. Then another one. This might just work!

I bolted down the corridor and down the stairs as fast as I could. And while it wasn't Superman fast, it seemed fast enough to avoid Jack until I had the protection of my family and then he – "Oh my god!"

Jumping down the stairs four steps at a time resulted in me crashing into someone, resulted in me lying on top of someone else.

That was one of the problems with a curved staircase.

I opened one eye; I didn't realise I had them closed. Besides the initial "Oh!" of the impact and the whole lying on top of somebody, I didn't feel anything. I slowly tested each limb. Nothing. No pain. Safe!

The person groaned beneath me. He sounded like he was in pain. Oops.

"You're so bloody heavy."

Great. Jack.

Instead of getting off him, I wanted to jump on him.

(And not in that way, okay! I wasn't going to jump his bones, just make him feel some actual weight!)

But I decided to show some mercy on my...roomie. I got off his back and stepped back, in case he decided to swing at me or something – I had a mental image of Jack as King Kong, grabbing me and then dropping me from a tall building.

Jack got up slowly, rubbing his back rather awkwardly as he glared at me.

I gave him a small wave.

It was not well received. He just frowned. "What are you trying to do? Kill me?"

"There's a thought!" I said jokingly.

He was not impressed.

Something told me I should apologise to Jack, but apologising to Jack Richards was like going against nature. It was just unnatural! Still, staring at him made me feel bad. Jumping down the stairs never hurt anyone before. I should treat Jack like I'd treat anybody else.

It was just so hard.

I cleared my throat. "I'm sorry I hurt you, Jack."

I waited for his response.

Jack just sighed, one of those dragged out, longsuffering sighs. "Look, Sharon," he said calmly. "I think it'd be easier for both of us if we just got along for the next two weeks."

I blinked. Who was this guy and what did he do to Jack Richards? Was he calling for a truce?

Jack nodded. "I think you should think about it." Then he left me behind gaping at him.

I couldn't think properly through dinner. Jack Richards couldn't change.

But he was the picture of perfect charm with my family. He had won over my little brother completely. Robbie was looking at him like he was his hero. My innocent little brother was turning over to the dark side! And he didn't even use triple chocolate chip cookies to do it. I was grudgingly impressed.


I blinked. Everyone was looking at me. My mum motioned to my knife and fork.

"Unless you're trying to slice through the plate," she said pointedly, "your chicken had been cut five minutes ago."

I looked down to my plate. Oh. Right.

I stuffed a piece of chicken into my mouth and waited for the conversation to go back to where it was. And it didn't take long with Jack there. Jack Richards with his dark hair and golden eyes easily had conversation flowing around him.

Family stealer. I didn't trust him one bit. Eleven years taught me self-preservation.

Jack met my eyes for a split moment and smiled. I narrowed my eyes and just chewed for the remainder of dinner, staying silent.

Jack Richards was getting under my skin.

And that was my excuse for letting what happened eight hours after dinner happen.

You know what they say – a leopard never changes its spots.

I should have known.

At 3 AM I'm Too Sexy began blasting from under my bed. I was bound and gagged.

I'm going to kill him!

That was what I was yelling beneath the gag that changed my words into muffles. I'd even locked the door too! Damn Jack and however he managed to do this.

I struggled with whatever it was that tied each one of my limbs to a bed post. Except for a few centimetres, Jack had me effectively captured.

And I'm Too Sexy kept playing. It was remixed and filled with beats and so loud I was going crazy but not loud enough for my parents to hear it at the other hand of the second storey! Robbie slept through anything and the guest bedroom was inhabited by dead-meat-in-four-hours.

"I'm too sexy for my car, too sexy for my car."

Argh! I kept yelling and even though it didn't do anything, listing every way I was going to dismember Jack Richards made me feel better. He was so dead. He was so dead. Saying it almost made the song bearable. Almost.

When the song finally ended, my room fell into silence. Except for the thudding of my heart in my ears, everything felt normal. I took a few deep breaths.

After I controlled my breathing, I could've almost fallen asleep.

I should've known Jack wasn't finished.

I'm Too Sexy started playing again at 3:30 AM. And then 4 AM. And then 4:30 AM.





5 AM. 5:30 AM.

6 AM. 6:30 AM!

Trying to sleep was just impossible! Every time I closed my eyes and nearly drifted off to sleep, it would start again, until the words I'm too sexy was beating into my head like a tattoo.

Jack was so damn dead!

He must've thought I'm Too Sexy was similar to a lullaby, because I could hear the window slide open at 6:47. I didn't know how many times that morning I looked at my alarm clock.

There was only one thing I knew for sure: Jack Richards was going to pay.

He must've thought I was asleep because his footsteps were barely audible.

I knew the exact moment he stood besides my bed. It was the exact moment I wanted to leap on him and tear him to bits.

It was so hard to control my breathing so it didn't sound irregular.

After what felt like an eternity, my blanket near my feet shifted and I could feel warm hands touching my right ankle. The urge to wriggle from the sensation was so hard to resist. The only thing that had me controlled was the thought of having my hands on him.

When he finished untying the right bound, he started on the left one. I couldn't resist the sensation this time. My freed right leg swung at his chest.

Jack's grunt was covered by the sound of him falling to the carpet.

Goal! If only the girls at school knew how easy it was for a girl to defeat him.

Jack had loosened the bound on my left ankle and I wiggled my left leg to free itself. Now both my legs were free to kick his ass. I just needed a way for my feet to free my hands and mouth.

Before I could figure that out, Jack had stood up, staring down at me.

My "I'm going to kill you, you jerk!" turned into more muffles.

The slight frown on Jack's face turned into wry amusement. "Did you like my song?"

He could interpret the muffles that came as my response any way he wanted. I shook my head and tried to swing my legs at him again.

He was ready this time. Before my legs had even left the bed he had them pinned down.

And it was that moment with his hands on my legs that I realised what he was wearing. Or maybe it was what he was not wearing.

Jerk was wearing nothing but his boxers.


Jack grinned. "Are you going to behave now?"

I didn't even bother trying. I just glared at him. I was shooting daggers and hoping they'd actually turn into real daggers and stab him in his naked chest.

And then I'm Too Sexy started again.

My reaction was automatic. I went crazy because of the blasted tune, my feet and arms trying to swing at something, and that something being Jack Richards.

But he had my legs firmly held down and my wrists were tied. I couldn't even spit at his face when "I'm too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt" came on and my traitorous eyes were glued to his chest.

For the whatever minutes the song played, I tried to wrestle with my bounds but it was no use. When "And I'm too sexy for this song" came with the end of the torture, I fell still, my breathing heavy.

Jack relaxed his hold. I thought I was semi-free.

Instead, he decided to climb on top of me and hold my legs down with one of his own. He was almost straddling me, one hand on one side of my chest and the other hand on the other side.

He stared at me. His face was inches from mine.

"You know, silence suits you."

As I started to struggle again, he dangled a finger in front of my face.

He motioned the closeness of our proximity with the same finger, and then his eyes fell on my chest.

I hoped the heat I felt on my face didn't appear as well.

Jack's eyes returned to mine and it was accompanied with the curve of his lips. "If you try to move again, it might be a bad idea" – he leaned down and narrowed the already short distance between our bodies – "because I might just have to press my body against yours, and my head just might land somewhere..." He let it trail off purposely and watched my reaction with a slight grin.

I lay absolutely still. I tried to stop breathing.

For a moment, Jack just stared at me. His eyes were so intensely bright.

He lifted one hand up and slowly moved it closer to my face, holding his body on top of mine with one arm. He brushed the hair in my face away gently. "You know," he said softly, "I lied yesterday. I'd perve on you any day."

His eyes were fixed on mine as his hand moved to my gag. Slowly he loosened the knot, but his gaze never left mine.

I felt like I was burning up.

The gag fell from my lips.

And that's when the door slammed open.

"Oh my god!"

Jack and I both turned our heads abruptly.

Jem had one finger pointing at us in shock, the other hand holding the key to my room. I forgot she decided to be my own alarm clock this year. It was what happened when I tried to sleep in every morning. She decided she was going to do me a favour.

Jem's eyes were the size of saucers and her mouth was hanging wide open. "Oh my god," she repeated, the finger pointed at us shaking.

And this was where my mum decided to enter the scene.

I was trying to sleep during my free period at school. This included trying to forget about everything that happened in the morning – including everything that ended with my parents sitting Jack and I down and giving us the bird and the bees talk.

Even though nothing happened! They didn't believe me despite my fervent insistence. Jack just sat still and listened patiently. His politeness grated on my nerves.

The thought of Jack made me want to grind my teeth. I resisted the temptation. Teeth grinding made falling asleep much harder.

I buried my hand in my arms. There were thirteen days left of the two weeks. It was like Chinese water torture. I was going to go crazy. Even more crazy than I was right now, trying to sleep in the school library. The lack of sleep was catching up to me. But I still couldn't fall asleep.

Forget about counting sheep. I was counting the amount of times my knife stabbed Jack in the chest.


Knowing it was Jem I didn't move my position. It was already sort of comfortable – as comfortable as resting against a table could be.

"Hey! Sharon!" I felt something prod my arm continuously.

I moaned. "Leave me alone."

I could hear Jem chuckle. It didn't stop her from poking me. "You owe me a story."

I moaned again. "Nothing happened."

"That wasn't what it looked like." Jem sounded like she was having too much fun at my expense.

I moved my buried arms and head a few inches away from her. "I hate you. I hate him too."

There was no outrage in response. She cackled.

I moved away a few more inches.

"Sharon," she said, "we both know it's not hate you feel for Jack Richards."

I tried to drone out her voice. I refused to sacrifice potential sleep for nonsense. And it was nonsense she was spilling out.

Jem prodded me again.

Oh, this was impossible. I sat up and fixed my best friend with the lethal glare I usually gave to Jack.

And, unfortunately, her reaction was the same as Jack's as well. She merely looked amused. But it was my lethal glare! I sighed in resignation. If only I was a basilisk like in Harry Potter. Then maybe I could've returned to attempting sleep.

"You know what?" Jem asked thoughtfully. "I bet I could solve all your problems."

Hah. I gave her a raised glance. "You can murder Jack and then feed his body to the sharks?"

Jem waved me off. "That's not your problem."

Yes, it was. I just never found the opportunity in the past twelve years. I told that to Jem but she continued to wave me off.

"I saw the way you two were canoodling in the morning."

"We were not canoodling!"

I clamped my hand over my mouth when I realised we were still in the library. I may have just said the previous comment too loud. The tables around us stared.

Jem waved them away and pulled me closer. "Did he kiss you? Did he touch you inappropriately?"

She sounded excited. My best friend was getting excited at the prospect of Jack Richards touching me inappropriately! What was this?

I stared at her in disbelief.

She gave me an innocent look followed with a sly grin. "So can I test my theory?"

I kept the same look on my face when I asked, "What theory?"

I shouldn't have even asked. What came out of Jem's mouth was: "That every time Jack Richards looks at you, he want so ravish you."

What was this insanity! She was out of her mind. She was delusional. Oh, forget delusions. She was beyond that."You're nuts!"

Besides, who says ravishes? Jem had been reading way too many romance novels. She was trying to push these weird delusions on to me!

She grinned at my expression. "Don't argue. This morning confirmed it."

I frowned. "No, it didn't."

"Okay." Jem waggled her eyebrows. "Give me your umbrella?"


"Just give me your umbrella."

I glanced at the window. It wasn't raining. I stared at Jem doubtfully. Maybe I should recommend her to the school counsellor.

"Is it in your bag?" she asked impatiently.

I nodded reluctantly. Before I even said anything else, she ran out of the library. To get my umbrella I guessed. Jem was one confusing girl.

Ravish me. Yeah. Right.

Jem didn't return afterwards so I just rested my head again. I had this mild headache and fear I'm Too Sexy would suddenly play.

Ravishing or not, Jack was going to pay for his prank.

Then I realised I used the adjective ravishing in conjunction with Jack.

Oh, Jem. She and her romance novels were such a bad influence.

She was also a witch who predicted it would rain.

It started an hour later and it was literally pouring. It didn't seem to get lighter too. Sydney weather was so temperamental these days. It was humid and raining, the worst possible combination.

By the time my afternoon History Extension class ended, I found Jack sitting outside. If he was anyone else, I might have been touched he was waiting for me. School finished almost an hour ago but he stayed behind.

I raised an eyebrow but he shrugged, getting up.

My friends gave me raised looks as they walked past us. I could see a few of them grinning at me. I decided to ignore my traitorous friends.

"It's raining even harder now," I commented to Jack. Some part of me was curious about why he stayed behind. But there was another part of me who was still angry with him for what happened this morning.

He just grinned. "I was hoping you have an umbrella."

At least there was the answer. I shook my head with a frown. As I had thought, my umbrella was gone when I checked my bag. Instead, there was a message of 'Thank me later'. I was certainly not going to thank Jem later.

"Oh well," Jack said easily. "Ready to brave the rain?"

I stared at him. My house was a fifteen minute walk, ten minutes if we run. We and everything we carried would be soaking wet by the time we reached my place.

Seeing my face, Jack's grin widened. "Chicken?"

My incredulous response was, "Are you nuts?"

He was crazy. I was carrying nine periods of school material. It would not last with the pouring rain. It'd all turn into papier-mâché by the time we reached home.

Jack didn't understand. "You won't be sick," he said patiently. "It's so sticky outside."

I waved my folder in his face. He finally understood. Jerk started laughing. I scowled.

"Here I was, thinking you were worried about your health."

I scoffed. "If you cared so much about my health, you would have let me slept in peace this morning!"

Jack just grinned. "I didn't say I cared."

I ignored him and proceeded to walk to the school's official entrance (or exit). There was a portico that acted as the last shelter from rain between school and my house; I began contemplating my options there.

Both my parents were at work, so that ruled out a car ride. Jem that traitor usually took a bus, so I couldn't get my umbrella back. And it was four already so the school was pretty much deserted, meaning no one else could really give me a ride. The last option was to brave the rain.

The pouring rain in front of me was becoming more and more unappealing with each passing second. The weather was horrible.

Today was so not my day.

"Decided yet?"

I ignored Jack. He was too cheerful for the internal struggle that was happening within me.

He stood beside me and offered me a hand. I just gave him a weird look.

"Give me your things," he commanded, motioning towards my books and bags. Right. It wasn't like I thought he was asking to hold my hand.

I slowly took my backpack off and handed it to him with my folder. He was strangely calm. "You're not going to throw it into the rain, right?"

From the evident amusement in his eyes, I was beginning to regret listening to him. "My house is a lot closer," he answered.

Then he proceeded to take out all the sheets in my folder and put it into my backpack.

My mouth fell open. I grabbed his hand in reaction.

Jack's eyes looked at our hands then at me. He raised an eyebrow. "Would you rather your sheets wet?"

I let go abruptly. I couldn't say anything. I just watched him methodically move the papers into my bag. Then he gave me my empty plastic folder back. I just stared at it blankly.

Jack took my hands and placed the folder in them. Then he moved it till it was above my head. "Some form of umbrella, right?" He smiled, and it left me with a strange sensation.

I kind of just stood there shocked when he took my bag with him and ran out into the rain. He was a couple of metres before I realised what he intended to do.

"Hurry up, Baron Heron Sharon!" he yelled, the rain instantly drenching him.

He brought up the terrible nicknames we coined for each other when we were younger. I almost laughed.

"Wack Crack Yak Jack!" I called back.

Jack grinned and took a few steps backwards. "Macleron Sharon."

It was one battle Jack could never win. There were just too many words that rhymed with Jack.

I took my first steps into the rain with the folder covering my head. The rain bounced off the surface and slid down my hands. Folder or no folder, I was going to get wet.

And it felt strangely good.

"Flack Jack."

Jack laughed when I brought the folder down. "You ready, Salmon Sharon?" Before I even replied, he started running.

"That doesn't even rhyme properly," I yelled, chasing after him. "Attack Jack!"

He did a quick turn so he was facing me for a split moment. He raised his eyebrows up, an infectious grin on his face. "Only if you can get me."

Then he started speeding up.

I laughed.

I hadn't been to Jack's house for a while. After our mums gave up trying to make us friends – they realised this after what you can imagine as the result of a toothpaste war – the time we spent at each other's house was a bare minimum.

Jack tossed me a towel to dry my hair. "You get to choose. You can wear something of mine or my mum's."

I began drying my hair. "Whatever fits is fine."

Jack grinned. "Just checking."

The first problem was that Irene was shorter than me. It was kind of amazing when Irene stood next to Jack. He had to be at least one-eighty. The second problem was that Irene was stylish. I'd feel bad if I was to wear her clothes without permission, even though I knew she wouldn't mind. Anything casual enough she probably took with her to Tamworth. And it wasn't as if I'd never worn Jack's clothes before. Just not in many, many years.

"Something clean!" I called after him when he entered his room. He laughed.

I followed him in – to make sure, of course.

"So," he said cheerfully when he heard my footsteps, "any style in particular? Morning after girl?"

Oh, he was so hilarious. I nudged him aside. "I'll find something myself."

I pulled open the first drawer. I closed it immediately.

"You don't need to wear my underwear to be my morning after girl," Jack said with a laugh. He fell onto his bed and stretched lazily. "Take your pick of my kingdom, Baron."

I turned my back to him and continued my search. And then, from the sound of it, Jack started taking off his wet clothes. Jerk. He couldn't wait to start stripping until I had left the room. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of making fun of me; I was not going to look.

I ignored him, and after a couple minutes of searching, I grabbed a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and headed to the bathroom. I closed the door of Jack's bedroom behind me, but I could hear his laugh.

I shook my head. Jack Richards was so confusing.

When I returned, I found Jack sprawled across his bed and asleep. Knowing him, he probably didn't sleep this morning too. He was probably listening to my room and laughing every time the song started playing.

I closed his door again. The lack of sleep and running in the rain made my head light and body heavy. Sleep was definitely a good idea.

I headed to the guest bedroom and crumpled on the bed.

I fell asleep instantly.

Jem literally jumped on me, first thing in the morning. I woke up to her shaking my shoulders and asking, "What happened! What happened!"

I tried to roll over but she was too persistent.

What she did next made me jump up instantly. She sniffed me.

"Jem!" I nearly yelled. "What are you doing?"

She just looked thoughtful. "You smell normal. But there is something different."

Okay. I was so reporting her to the school counsellor, first thing at school. She was nuts.

Then her eyes took in what I was wearing – Jack's clothes. Jem just smiled. I could see what was going through her head, and it was not something little kids and I should have to witness.

"Stop!" I waved a hand in front of her face. "What you're thinking did not happen, okay!"

"What am I thinking?" Jem jumped off my bed and did a little dance next to me. She looked positively beaming. "I was right! I was right! I am a genius! Cupid has nothing on me!"

Jack and Jem – oh why was I constantly surrounded by insane people. I didn't know what I did to have to bear such cruelty.

"All you did was steal my umbrella and get my sheets nearly soaked," I explained to her tiredly.

Jem climbed back on my bed and gave me a pointed look. "I am looking at you and something happened."

I frowned. "It was raining so hard yesterday and because somebody stole my umbrella, Jack and I ran to his house. I changed into his clothes and fell asleep. When I woke up, I was here. Home." I folded my arms together. "As you can see, nothing happened."

Jem leaned in again and I thought she was going to sniff me, but she didn't. She just looked me closely in the eyes. "You're lying."

She was making me frustrated with her interrogation. "I'm not lying!" It came out nearly like a shout.

Jem didn't even blink. "You're raising your voice."

"I am not!" But I did it again.

Jem grinned. "Something happened" – she raised a finger to stop what I wanted to say – "and even though it might not have been what I wanted, something happened."

I pursed my lips. "This conversation is pointless. You won't believe anything I say."

Jem just raised an eyebrow. "How can I? Not when you don't even believe yourself."

I refused to answer her anymore. She was just spilling nonsense.

Jem just looked at me and there was something like pity in her eyes, and it was grating my nerves. There was nothing I needed to be pitied for.

I folded my arms. "I'd like to get changed now, if you don't mind."

The walk to school was quiet. It was just Jem and I since Jack had touch training before school and left before I'd even woken up.

Neither Jem nor I initiated conversation. It wasn't that I was mad at her; I just didn't know what to say to her after telling her to leave my room. I didn't mean to get snappy. It was just that every time she talked to me about Jack, I got strangely defensive.

In the silence, the walk to school felt longer than usual. The grass was wet from yesterday, and just thinking about the rain made me think of Jack. I shook my head. I was being ridiculous.

Jem cleared her throat. I glanced at her.

"Can I ask you a question?"

For a moment I didn't say anything. Then I nodded. I had some idea of what she wanted to ask.

I waited for her question, but she didn't ask it straightaway. She looked kind of dreamy and so Jem-like it made me so frustrated I wanted to laugh. It usually wasn't me who was the source of her amusements.

She bumped me cheerfully while we walked, swinging her folder front and forth. "You know, your reactions to him make me so confused."

She didn't have to clarify who she meant by 'him'.

"Sometimes I see you so mad you literally shake, and it's scary being near you because it's like you're about explode. But sometimes when I see you arguing with him, your face kind of lights up and I think you like arguing with him." Jem smiled at the protest on my face. "Okay, maybe not all the time."

"Definitely not all the time," I corrected, but I waited for her to continue.

She gave me a knowing look. "And when he makes you laugh, you just seem so...different." Jem lifted a hand up when I wanted to interrupt. "No interruptions until I'm done."

I bumped her back.

"And when Jack makes you laugh, it just feels unbelievably awkward when I'm there. You look so happy and radiant and no one comes close to how pretty you are at that moment, and it's like Jack knows this and Jack can't keep his eyes off you."

Every word out of Jem's mouth sounded strange, like it wasn't me she was talking about but some other girl named Sharon. She looked for my reaction but there wasn't a reaction, not really. It was mostly confusion, and confusion and a jumble of feelings were always present when the topic was Jack Richards.

"So," Jem said slowly, "can I say more?"

She looked at me for a reaction but I had stopped and Jem stopped and Jem saw what I saw. Her eyes flew to my face and she grabbed my hand.

"Sharon!" She was pulling me back from the school's back gate but the picture was burned into my head.

There was the school oval, and there was Jack – Jack with his arms around some girl, and he was swinging her around and laughing, and she was laughing with him, and something about the scene made me feel heavy, like I was sinking into the mud and I couldn't get out, and it was just so cold.

"Sharon!" Jem was trying to pull me along, but I stopped her. I took a deep breath. I just needed to clear my head.

I didn't need to be consoled. Jack Richards didn't mean a thing to me.

I shrugged Jem off and continued walking.

I walked past him, but Jack didn't even notice.

The day passed quickly, and so did the next day, and the day after.

Jem tried to talk to me, in the mornings before school, during study periods and between classes. She wanted to talk about things that weren't there and I couldn't make her understand that there was nothing to talk about. He was Jack Richards with his own mates and I was Sharon Kirley with Jem and the friends I shared classes with. I tried to let her realise that everything was back to normal, but it wasn't completely true.

I didn't talk to Jack, but it wasn't like I was purposely avoiding him. He tried talking to me – on the way back and to school, between classes, at home. The conversation always fell flat. There was just nothing in them.

"You're losing him," Jem said to me irritably in English Advanced. We were supposed to be working in pairs on Frankenstein, but Jem decided to change the topic from scientific advancements to Jack Richards.

I murmured some form of dissent, but it fell flat.

"Sharon!" She looked aghast.

I sighed. "Look, Jem, Jack and I never got along. Why are you acting like this?"

"Because!" She looked so frustrated. "Stop acting like a...rock!"

I twirled my pen absently. "A rock?"

"Yes!" Jem took the pen from my hands. "You're being stubborn. That's another thing Jack does to you! He makes you so sad I want to kill him, but then I want to kill you because you refuse to acknowledge how sad he makes you!"

"I'm not sad," I said softly. "I'm just tired. I slept late."

"You're sad!"

My lips quirked. She should listen to how ridiculous she sounded. "You don't know Jack as I do, Jem."

"Oh yeah?" Jem deadpanned. "Like what?"

I sighed. "I know he used to push me and trip me over in kindergarten. I know I spent an hour making a Valentine's Day card for my crush in year three and Jack ripped it up. I know he 'accidentally' spilled tomato sauce on my white dress right before my first date." My fingers absently drew circles. Remembering Jack's antics were tiring.

Jem looked at me funny. She didn't say anything.

"Do you see now?" I murmured.

Jem grabbed my face and made me look at her in the eyes. "No, you don't see." She released me. "Do you know what I see? What I know? I know how often he smiles when he's around you. I know that he sends you roses every year on Valentine's Day. I know that he cares about you in a way that no other guy will compare. And I know you're being an idiot."

And there was the heavy feeling in my chest again, brought back with every word Jem said.

She didn't say anything for the rest of the period, and neither did I. The silence filled the gaps and carried every word I'd tried to forget.

The day dragged on.

It worsened when I got home.

Warm fingers wrapped around my eyes when I was going up the stairs. There was only person it could be. "Guess who?" he said.

I just stood there for a moment. The house was so quiet I could hear our breathing. I moved my hands to touch his, and for a moment, I just left them there. "Hello, Jack," I said, gently peeling his hands off my eyes.

He raised an eyebrow at me when I turned around to face him. "Hello, Jack," he imitated. "What's up with you the past few days?"

If I was prone to twitching, this would be one of those moments. I decided not to rise to the bait. "Nothing," I said coolly, starting to make my way up the stairs again.

I made it up about seven steps up when he called out, "You're doing it again."

"Doing what?"I didn't turn around. I continued walking up.

He sighed mockingly. "Hurting my feelings."

I ignored him. I did not need to deal with his theatrics.

He must have ran up the steps because he was right behind me. Then he picked me up. He just scooped me up and swung me over his shoulders.

Argh. The nerve of him. "Let go of me!"

Jack chose to feign exhaustion instead. "You're so heavy."

"This is dangerous!" I punched him on the back. "Let go of me now."

"Then you might want to stay still, unless you want both of us tumbling down the stairs."

I stopped struggling and Jack laughed, and the sound sent a chill down my spine. I closed my eyes but I still saw it, and there was Jack laughing and the girl laughing and he was swinging her around like she weighed nothing.

It left me feeling cold all over.

And there was every moment he made me feel inferior and all the times he laughed at me. And there was every time he played with me and left me with something like a pat on the head, and off he went to his next conquest. Jem's words didn't change all the memories built over the years, stacked on top of each other and relentless. It didn't change all the times he made me want to cry and every time I forced myself to resist.

Jack dropped me to the ground when he reached the second floor. He was grinning. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"

I stared at Jack, but I didn't quite see him. "Why did you do that?" I needed him to tell me a reason.

His grin wavered slightly. "We need to talk."

It wasn't a reason. "Don't do that again," I said evenly.

"Sharon –"

"Don't do it again," I repeated, and there was something unreadable in Jack's eyes. I looked at him calmly. "You need to know something."

He leaned against the wall and folded his arms. "Do I? After ignoring me the past few days? You just decided now?" His tone was cool.

I was shaking. My hands were trembling besides me. I fisted them up, hoping he wouldn't notice.

"Well?" He raised an eyebrow at me. I hated how cold it seemed.

"You need to know," I tried again, hoping it would be steady this time, "that I won't be just any girl in your life. I can't. I won't." My voiced betrayed me on the last words, cracking slightly.

Something in his eyes softened. "Sharon –"

I shook my head abruptly. I wanted to lay down my cards. "I am who I am, and you are who you are. I don't think we can continue to be...what we are to each other. I don't think I can take it any longer."

Jack stood up and took a step closer towards me. He picked up one of my hands and held it, playing with my fingers. He knew I was shaking. I couldn't stop.

"So what are we to each other?" he asked gently.

Neither of us was looking at each other. He was looking at my fingers and I could only look down at the floor. The feeling inside me spread, and it was heavy and hurting and everything I wanted to disappear.


He released my hand, and it traitorously missed the extra warmth. I closed my eyes for a moment. Then I looked up at him. The ends of his lips were slightly curved.

"I like you," he said softly. The admission was strangely vulnerable and seemed so out of place with someone like Jack. He looked at me. "What do you want from me?"

I closed my eyes. I couldn't say anything when he looked at me like that. I couldn't say what was needed to be said. I couldn't say what would make him hate me. But I had to say it. I had to.

My hands started shaking again. It had stopped when Jack held one of them. I held them together and looked him in the eye.

"I want you to leave."

I stayed in my room for the rest of the night. I could hear my parents talking to each other when they both came home. Mum knocked on my door but I didn't answer. My dad tried too, but I couldn't seem to physically get up. They left me alone after that.

I lay against the wall beside my bed. My fingers inched towards the phone, but it always fell short, and then I'd go back to lying against the wall with my eyes closed, waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. It just remained silent, the night slowly creeping on me with the increasing darkness.

When the phone rang, I picked it up reluctantly. I didn't check caller ID.

"Hi, Sharon." Jem's voice was soft, like she knew what happened.

"Did my mum call you?" It came out like a whisper in the dark.


We didn't say anything for a few minutes, but it felt nice, like she was leaving me space and was waiting for me to tell her what happened. Or maybe it wasn't for her sake, and she was just waiting for me to be ready. I closed my eyes and just took deep breaths to steady myself.

"I feel sad," I finally said. It still came out like a tremor.

"I know." Jem was being so gentle it made it worse.

"I think I did something wrong." I couldn't stop myself from shaking. It was happening again. "I thought it would stop making me sad, but it didn't."

I wanted to continue, but my throat felt dry. "Why are you sad, Sharon?" Jem asked slowly.

"I...Jack." My voice cracked on his name. "He'll make me happy one moment...and then he'll make me sadder than I've ever been the next."

I buried my head on my bed. The words were hard to say. Jem's breathing was even, and I knew what expression would be on her face at the moment.

"And then...all I can think of is every moment where he made me feel like that, and I'm just so tired of being so sad like that. And then it just doesn't seem...worth it. Why won't it work out, Jem?" My voice was shaky. I couldn't even say her name without wobbling. "Why is it that I can remember every time he made me want to cry, even though I don't want to? What I did was supposed to make it...supposed to make it..." I couldn't say it.

Easier. Distancing myself from him was supposed to make it easier.

I took a deep breath.

Jem's response was gentle. "I think you should talk to him. I have more questions I can't answer."

All I could see was the glazed look in his eyes when I told him to leave. But he didn't say anything. He just nodded. "I don't think he'll want to talk to me," I told Jem quietly. Not after I turned my back to him and walked away.

Jem was quiet for a moment. And then she said, "I think he will."

Neither of us said anything for the next few minutes, and when my conversation ended with Jem, I got up. Jem was right. I needed to talk to him and work out...what he meant to me. Because I couldn't understand Jack Richards. He made me frustrated and made me laugh. He made me sad and made me lightheaded. He made me feel so many things at once and whatever it was that made me push him away the past few days was clawing at me.

I opened the door of my room and the light that suddenly entered was disconcerting. My steps felt heavy as I made my way to the guest bedroom.

But it was empty. The door was opened and there was no one there, and everything that said Jack was here was gone. It left me slightly panicked, and when I heard footsteps behind me, I turned around abruptly. It was my mum.

Mum looked sad as she came towards me. "Oh, my baby," she said, wrapping her arms around me.

"I think I made a mistake," I said quietly. Mum touched my face; it was wet. But I never cried.

Mum didn't say anything. She just wiped the tears with her fingers in that slow, maternal manner I was used to. I relaxed in her embrace.

"Where is Jack?" I asked, glancing at the guest room.

"He went home." Mum was smoothing my hair. "He was gone before we got home."

"I – I –" My voice felt dry. "I want to talk to him."

"I know," my mum soothed, and then Dad was there, and he was twirling his car keys around a finger.

"I'm not required to join in, right?" he said jokingly, but he was looking at me with concern.

I laughed, and the tears in my eyes blurred my vision. Mum wiped them again, and then there was Robbie passing her a handkerchief. Brat wrapped his arms around my waist and the small gesture touched me. "I'll destroy him," he said, burying his head against me. "I know you-know-who's spells."

"Avada kedavra?" I asked him.

Robbie head butted me. "You can't just say it like that!"

I smiled. "I thought you liked Jack?"

"But you're my sister," and that was all he needed to say to make me teary again. It was almost ridiculous. I prized my own ability to refrain from waterworks.

"I guess this is a family thing then." My dad wrapped his arms around us. "So as we are set on destroying the kid?"

I had the biggest urge to laugh. After so many years of having urges of killing Jack, here was my family making it seem like a family outing.

"Don't be ridiculous," Mum said, nudging my dad. "All we're going to do is drive Sharon to his house. They will talk, and then everything will be back to normal."

"But I gave them the talk. It's not supposed to go back to normal. He's supposed to run far away."

He gave us the talk for his own amusement. I was tempted to hit him on the arm for putting me through so much embarrassment, but I didn't want to ruin the moment. I gave him an annoyed look which cracked a smile from him.

He twirled the keys. "You ready?"

There was one problem. "I...I don't think he'll let me in."

Dad just shrugged and gave Mum a look. "Don't worry, we have keys to his house."

I blinked. To say my family was surprising me tonight was an understatement.

"It'll be a surprise!" Robbie chimed in. "I love surprises!"

Dad ruffled his hair. "This one's not for you, mate. It's time for bed." He picked Robbie up and held him by the legs upside down. "I'll be waiting for you in the car, whenever you're ready," he said to me before carrying a squirming and giggling Robbie to his room.

Mum took the handkerchief from my hands. "Everything will be fine, honey. Irene and I had a talk already." She kissed my forehead. "Take chances. Take a gamble."

I nodded. She squeezed my hands, and it made everything feel better.

I hopped in the car after wetting my face, hoping it wasn't so obvious I had been crying. The car ride consisted of Dad humming along to the radio with me trying to run through all the things I wanted to say.

Arriving at Jack's house took about three minutes. My dad pulled along the road.

He gave me a look when he turned off the engine and faced me. "I'd like you to know I trust you, and even though I'll deny it later, I also trust Jack. The only reason I didn't castrate him that morning was because I know he's a good kid." He gave me a pointed look.

I nodded. I got out of the car and Dad drove home, making me promise to call him when I was finished.

I looked at house in front of me.

There was only one room with the lights still on.

My heart was beating like crazy, a mixture of anticipation and raw fear. When I turned the keys in, I was half expecting Jack to demand what I was doing there, but the room was dark and I was relying on memory to find my way to his room.

I felt like thief, trying to not make any noise, but I didn't want him to call the police before he saw me. When I reached the top of the stairs, I could see light from his bedroom. His door wasn't closed and Jack was stretched across his bed, an arm across his eyes.

I was suddenly gripped by how ridiculous the whole thing was. I technically just broke into his house after telling him to leave me alone a few hours earlier. All I had with me for an excuse was his shirt and shorts Mum had washed. I was returning his clothes at eleven in the evening.

I stood there watching him, paralysed. I didn't know whether to knock or just enter or just leave and call Dad to pick me up. I was scared shitless. I didn't know how long I just stood there before I took a step forward. Each step felt heavy, and the closer I was, the more afraid I felt. And then I reached his doorway and I was just standing there, but he hadn't noticed my presence. His breathing was even and I realised he could've been asleep. But Jack shifted his arm and his eyes were open and staring at the ceiling. It felt like I was intruding on his alone time.

My fingers rapped the door gently. The effect was instantaneous. Jack flew up from his position and stared at me, his face turning from alarm to...nothing. His eyes were on me and they showed no emotion. The way he was staring at me made something hurt inside, and it made me want to run away, made me want to be curled up somewhere faraway. But I couldn't. It was my decision to face him.

"How did you get in here?" Jack's tone was cold.

I held up the set of keys Dad had handed me. He showed no reaction. I recognised what this was. It was how I treated him the past few days, the roles reversed.

"Can I come in?" I tried.

He raised an eyebrow for a split moment but then it was gone, wiped away. "It's a bit late for permission, don't you think."

I expected this reaction, but it didn't lessen the blow. I took a few steps into the room, standing there awkwardly in the centre. His bedroom wasn't the most convenient place to talk; it was his den and I was only the visitor.

Jack just watched me from his bed warily. "What are doing here?"

I chucked the bag that contained his clothes at him. I waited for him to look inside but he never took his gaze off me. "It's the shirt and shorts...I borrowed." It came out awkward, expanding the tension between us.

Jack nodded as a response.

My prepared answers stopped here. I didn't know what else to say to him. I'm sorry? Can we talk? Can we go back to the way it was? I ran each situation quickly through my head. None of them were well received. I placed a hand on my chest to steady myself. I could feel the beating of my heartbeat, feel the source of my fear and everything that made me hate myself.

I was a coward, given into temptation.

"Good night," I said softly. And then I turned to leave. I walked out of his room. And the part of me I hated the most was the part of me who was waiting for him to stop me. I became the type of person I hated the most. That part prayed for the easy route but Jack didn't stop me, and my feet continued to take me away from the light of his room.

And I reached the darkness of the stairs when I remembered. I remembered Jem on the phone and her patience and constant presence. I remembered my parents and their laughter and my brother and his spells. I was loved and being ridiculous and needed to take a gamble.

I turned back and ran up the stairs and flew into Jack's room and dropped everything in my hands.

Before he could register his surprise I was on his bed and I grabbed his shirt and pulled him close and my lips were on his and he tasted like surprise and Jack, and then his tongue was between my lips and my hands were grabbing his hair and I could feel his fingers skimming my exposed back. I couldn't think just feel and Jack was warm and around me and his every touch left me feeling light all over.

I don't know who pulled away first but when my eyes were opened, Jack was holding himself on top of me. He was catching his breath but watching me all the same. There was a faint smile on his face. I lifted a hand and touched his jaw. Jack grabbed it and brought it to his lips.

He left me lightheaded and it was hard to get my head clear again. I took my hand from his mouth and moved his head closer to mine until our foreheads were touching.

"I like you," I whispered, and I saw him smiling before his lips touched mine again.

The kiss was softer, slower, his finger lifting my chin. It was sweet and disorientating and I had to let it stop before I forgot everything I needed to say to him. I held his face and pulled away. He looked down at me questioningly.

I rolled him over so he was on his back and I was straddling him. I needed him to stay still and listen.

I rested my weight against his body. Jack's arms automatically circled my waist. He tried to kiss me again but I shook my head. "We need to talk."

Jack's response was to relax and laugh. "Women."

I punched him in the shoulder. "Men." I pushed my hair out of my face. "Can't differentiate which head is used to think."

Jack's response was to laugh more. I shouldn't have said it; I needed him to be serious. I covered his mouth with my hand.

"I need you to promise to listen to me without interrupting." I removed my hand when he nodded.

The heaviness inside me appeared briefly when I contemplated how to begin, but Jack's arms tightened around me, and it left me feeling fluttery instead. His body was warm beneath mine.

I met his eyes. "I can't think straight when it comes to you. One moment you make me so happy I feel as if I could live in the moment forever. Like now," I added softly. Jack smiled, and he was so attractive it was ridiculous. "But then..." My voice cracked. It was hard looking at him. He wanted to say something but I'd made him promise. I took a deep breath to steady myself. "But then the next time you make me sad, it makes me feels like I can't be that happy with you before without balancing it with something that makes me so sad I want to cry...a-and I-I don't cry –"

I couldn't continue. My eyes were watery and Jack's embrace was so tight I couldn't breathe. He was struggling to contain everything he wanted to say to me. I had to catch my breath for a moment when his hold loosened.

"And I don't cry." I could have laughed at how shaky I sounded, how I had to blink back my tears. "You make me feel too jealous, too possessive, too emotional, too over the top with everything. And when I am in one of those moments...I remember every moment I want to forget, and it overwhelms everything I want to remember."

The expression on Jack's face was unfathomable.

"I saw you at touch practice the other day. You were with that girl." I couldn't look at him. "You –"

"She was –" He cut me off, trying to sit up, but I didn't let him finish. The sound he made beneath my hand was frustration and something else I couldn't identify.

"You promised, Jack," I said quietly, and he forced himself to relax. "You promised you'd let me finish."

He couldn't hide the frustration on his face.

"I...I was mad. And then I told myself I didn't care, and I reminded myself of every girl you've been with over the years. And then I remembered running after you in the rain and how ridiculously light I felt even though I was drenched wet. And it's like...seeing you with her made me realise that no matter what I feel about you one moment, it'll change in the next and I'll never be more down, and I hate feeling like that."

It was hard to look at him. I felt Jack's hands cupping my face and pulling me close.

I opened my eyes again, but it was still so hard. "And I don't know if I can be what I want to be with you, because you make me scared shitless. I don't think I'll be able to recover if you change your mind one day, or if you find someone you like better." My voice was shaking again. "So, Jack, what are we to each other? What do you want from me?"

Jack didn't say anything for a moment. He just stared at me, and not being able to read what he was thinking made me nervous, and there was that brief heaviness inside me. Then Jack rolled me over until he was on top of me, and he was staring down at me with so much intensity it was hard to look straight.

"What do I want from you?" His eyes flashed. "I want you to stop driving me nuts with everything you do. I want you to know no other girl has ever compared to you and I've been trying for years to get over how helpless you make me feel but nothing has worked. I want you to realise how damn crazy you make me and I will never, never let you go."

I was finding it incredibly hard to breathe steadily. Jack leaned down and touched my forehead with his.

"I want to be there every time I make you angry or sad or frustrated and I will let you kill me or castrate me – but preferably kill me – because I want to promise you everything I can possibly give you." He smiled and I smiled and it was ridiculous why I had an urge to cry. "I promised you a kingdom but all I have to give is my heart and even though I think you deserve more, I want you to know you've had it for years already."

I wanted to laugh but laughing turned out like a choke and my eyes were watery. I felt like a wreck.

"Only you can crush me and then kiss me and make me constantly mad. What do I want from you? I want to hold you and stay in this moment forever. I want you to be mine and I think what I've been trying to say for the past few minutes is that I want you to be my girlfriend and I don't know if I am giving you a choice."

I didn't know what to say back. I couldn't think of a response. I did the only thing I could think of. I pulled him down on top of me and his weight carried the warmth that made me want to melt. My lips brushed his.

"Actions speak louder than words?" he whispered.

Jack was smiling and I was smiling and I nodded and Jack's mouth came crashing down onto mine, and it was a thousand times louder than any words.

Sometime later I woke up with Jack was still asleep beside me. I felt lazy and calm and giddy and everything at once that made me want to burst.

I couldn't stop the grin on my face, and there was only one thought on my mind. I got up and went to search for the things I needed, and when I was done, I sat beside him, watching him. I was smiling so much it was hurting my cheeks.

It was safe to say Jack brought out the worse in me. And the best. He made me feel reckless and crazy.

It was nice watching him wake up. He opened his eyes slowly and smiled lazily at me. "Morning."

"Hi." I felt warmth spreading inside me. And also anticipation.

Jack started to get up. This was when he realised what I'd done. His eyes flew to my face, his arms trying to break free from the bounds.

I couldn't contain the grin on my face. Jack narrowed his eyes slightly, but his lips were curved. "You didn't have to tie me up to have your way with me," he said cheerfully.

"Oh, I know." I climbed on top of him and straddled him, kissing him slowly, holding his face in my hands. The bed railings rattled against the wall when I pulled away. "But this is more fun," I replied just as cheerfully.

I climbed off his bed and went to his CD player. I plugged in my iPod and turned it on.

"I'm awake," he said with much amusement behind me. "I can take anything you dish at me."

I turned back to him and raised an eyebrow. "Anything?"

"Anything," he agreed confidently.

"What about..."

I paused deliberately, turning the volume to maximum and pressing the play and repeat buttons. The familiar tune began.

"Justin Bieber?"

Jack started struggling uncontrollably.

I couldn't stop laughing. Some things never changed.