A/n: Thanks for continuing. I hope you will further support me. Thank you!
Chapter two: The Little Girl Who Did
Stay on, soon you'll be divine.
Natalie ducked behind her textbook as Alec walked into the cafeteria. Step one: observation and notes. What was it that she missed? How could she have missed such a huge blunder like that? Her mind whirred back to her idolized image of him and then to their encounter yesterday. He greeted his friends with high fives and sat down smack in the middle of the chair.
That was normal. She had always noticed that about him: his pull on people, his charisma and charm. Natalie snapped her gaze back to her book when he glanced up. He had felt her stare from across the room. Smirking to himself, he glanced back to his friends to continue their chat. Natalie peered over the book again to observe him get up and walk towards the lunch line.
Sandwich, apple, crackers, milk, and fries. A simple, yet filling lunch. Something that kept his toned and muscular body in shape and beautiful at all times. That was also normal. Swerving back towards his table, he sat down, yanking the chair out and sitting down with an air of nonchalance. He was there and he was noticed.
Natalie tapped her finger against her cheek, calculating. What was it she missed? Why was he such a dick? Then suddenly, she saw it. It hit her like a ton of bricks. Everything about him from his swagger-walk, to his steely, blue eyes that flickered with unfathomable emotions or the arrogance that swirled around him in his wake was captivating, enchanting, and drool-worthy. The feel of dominance and charisma kept people around him rapt, but only on him. He was engulfed and surrounded by admirers, love, acceptance, and being the top dog--he became what he was: cocky. Engrossed, Natalie's jaw dropped open and dramatic tears filled her eyes. Her hypothesis was fool-proof, what's worse she was one of those people who fueled his overly large ego.
How terrible. He obviously noticed everything that she had noticed. All the things that she dreamt about that belonged on his body, he knew about. He was a modern day narcissist. But Mr. Perfect can't swim. For a brief moment, she thought to the Greek myth about how Narcissist had drowned himself after trying to kiss his reflection in the mirror. She laughed, loudly.
Natalie crept to the other side of the gym where she was safest from the rampant balls that bounced off of the hoop in rejection. Her eyes zeroed in on the blond in the near distance. So, now she has noticed what was so obvious: his cocky, arrogance. Frowning to herself, she mentally slapped herself for falling for such a guy. She whirled around just as the teacher whistled for them to change. What was the point of PE? Natalie was the first out of the gym and actually the first to finish changing. She completely forgot that she was supposed to meet up with Jen after school and now she had to rush to her locker and back to the front of the school. She prayed Jen wouldn't have a bitch fit.
Checking the contents in her bag, she went down the stairs and took the least crowded route towards the front doors. The main stairwell after school is usually chaotic with people shoving and talking. Natalie shuddered with reminiscent, she hated being packed like sardines all heading in one direction down the treacherous stairs. She walked down the quiet staircase, searching through her big bag for her cellphone.
"Ack!" She squeaked as someone yanked her from her path and into the janitor's closet. It slammed shut behind her and everything was pitch black. Frightened, Natalie opened her mouth to scream, but someone's large hand clamped over her mouth. Her scream came out muffled and salivating.
A hiss of disgust and the hand withdrew from her mouth. The hiss sounded familiar.
"Alec?" She half shrieked, her eyes wide in the darkness. "What are you doing?!" Natalie could almost hear him smirk.
"You've been watching me, haven't you?" Alec murmured, his voice low in a very seductive way. Natalie swallowed noisily.
"Yes," he reprimanded, smoothly. She felt his breath tickle her cheek and goosebumps formed along her arm.
"So, what? Why can't I observe the demon and it's habits?" Natalie stated, trying her best not to get dizzy.
"Demon?" Alec's voice filled with mock surprise. "What do you mean? I'm no demon."
"Says the person who drags an innocent girl into a janitor's office!" Her voice shook a bit. She was scared, this is a total rape situation.
"It's so obvious," he said somewhat arrogantly. His hand encircled her waist and she stiffened, her voice getting caught in her throat. Even though he had the younger face of Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio combined, she didn't want it to happen like this. Not in a janitor's closet. Not with a guy who doesn't even respect you. Not with someone like him.
"Let go!" To her surprise, her voice was much steadier than she thought it would be. It filled with defiance and order. This was a rare phenomenon. Natalie felt herself straighten out, her chin held high. She still smelled him near, his clean, fresh scent that smelled faintly of cigarettes--only slightly. "Get your filthy hands off of me this instant. I don't care how cute you are, or how handsome you are. You're filthy, dirty, demonic, and a horrible person." Natalie took a deep breath, ignoring his alluring scent. "You will never get down my pants." That was blunt and simple--pointblank. The closet was suddenly filled with light and she blinked against the brightness. The janitor stood at the door, his eyes shocked at the two. A glance at Alec's face caused her sudden confidence to falter, there it was, a half grin that pulled on his lips. An amused half grin. His blue eyes glowed with what looked like mischief and calculation. Feeling heat rush to her face, she shrugged out of his touch and brushed past the unmoving janitor.
She slapped her hand against her cheeks, trying her best to empty out whatever heat there was left. That was way stupid. Natalie glowered at his smiling face. How dare he mock her? Natalie phone buzzed in her hand as she pushed open the front door and saw an impatient Jen in the near distant. She walked towards her sassy friend, waving meekly at her.
"What took?!" Jen muttered, disgruntled. "What if they ran out of the jeans? It's on sale…"
"Jen, it's a clothing store. They can't run out that fast and I'm only like ten minutes late! Sorry!" Natalie reasoned, logically as she tucked her phone back into her bag. "Chill."
Jen stared at her critically as if taking in something. "What happened?"
"What?" Natalie grumbled as they began their trek across the parking lot.
"You have that I'm-the-boss Natalie persona on," Jen clarified, her eyes still brooding. "What happened?" Jen liked to know everything.
"Nothing," Natalie waved her hands in the air dismissively. "Nothing happened."
Jen tilted her head to the side, causing her pretty hair to fall over her shoulders. A small smile came onto her lips. "Okay, Nat." Jen began to talk about the pair of designer jeans she wanted. A part of Natalie wanted Jen to ask her more, you know? It'd be nice to discuss this sudden dilemma with somebody, but she couldn't bring herself to talk about Alec to her. Something worried her.
They finished shopping earlier than Natalie expected. Natalie dropped Jen off at her house before heading back home herself, her mind still thinking about the suddenly very creepy Alec. Dear, god, she is messed up. Shaking her head she pulled into her driveway and got out of the car. She walked to the front door and entered into the warm, living room. Her dad sat on the couch staring at the television and in the kitchen she heard her mom chopping away.
"Hey, dad," Natalie said as she put her keys onto the table near the door and then called into the kitchen. "Mom! What's for dinner?"
"Pork and vegetables." The blunt reply of a simple dinner. She followed the scent of prepared vegetables into the kitchen where her short mom stood cutting at spinach.
"Need help?" Her mom glanced back at her, barely acknowledging Natalie.
"No, go do your homework," her mom grumbled as she finished the last bits. "Or shower."
"Okay," Natalie shrugged at the disregard and wandered up the stairs where she grabbed her clothes to shower. Sighing, she turned on the shower and stuck her arm out until it reached the correct temperature. Stepping into the shower, she clenched her eyes shut as the water blasted against her back. The shower only managed to make her feel sweaty and disgusting. She walked to the kitchen table and sat down in front of her bowl.
"Did you finish your homework already?" Her mother snapped at her almost immediately after she sat down. Natalie picked up her chopsticks to pick at the rice.
"Why did you come home so late?" She continued as she placed a piece of pork in her bowl. Natalie sighed and glared at her mom.
"Jennifer needed help for something," she muttered, incoherently, putting a grain of rice into her mouth before chewing meticulously.
"Jennifer, that girl," Mrs. Wong scowled at her rice bowl. Natalie grimaced at her mom before standing up to walk away.
"Your mother is talking to you, young lady," her father piped up, his eyes focused on the newspaper. "Don't be so rude."
"Jen is my friend, mom," Natalie retorted, sharply, as she narrowed her eyes. Her mother glared at her insolent daughter.
"I can see it in their faces, that girl is trouble! Mothers know best."
The younger girl rolled her eyes and scoffed. "You say that about everyone."
"That's why you have no friends, you choose the wrong ones!" Mrs. Wong snapped. Natalie shrank back, stung by the statement. "They're a horrible influence on you. You should just come home after school and do homework instead of swimming or hanging with that Jennifer girl."
"Mom, I like swimming!" Natalie protested, her hands curled into tight fists as she bit her lips. "I don't want to quit that." Both her parents remained silent, the only noise were their chopsticks clicking together. With a hiss of annoyance, Natalie stormed up the stairs to her room. Kicking the door shut behind her, she sighed, loudly taking in the warm and calming scene of her lime green and beige room. A fuzzy rug in the center, a large window across from the door (leading to good Feng Shui), and posters of things she liked whether they be cartoons or just of dogs. Her room was clean and neat, a place where the chance of stubbing your toe on books and chairs were practically non-existent. Only ill-will could bring her to hurt herself in this room. That's just how she liked it being safe and organized. She trudged over to her bed and squeaked out in pain as her big toe rammed against the bed corner. Tipping over, she flopped onto her well-made and fluffy bed grabbing her foot she breathed against her covers, groaning in pain.
But then again, luck has yet to find her today.
Natalie woke up with terrible bed head. This is what she gets for sleeping with wet hair. She heaved a sigh and grabbed her canteen from her nightstand, taking a long, cold gulp of the water before moving on to the bathroom. Brushing a comb carelessly through her hair, she brushed her teeth quickly and quickly yanked on her jeans. She wanted to talk to Jen before school started. Pulling on her shirt, she stomped down the stairs and grabbed a slice of bread and a banana before sidling out the door with her backpack in tow.
As she got to school, she just finished stuffing the rest of the bread into her mouth. In the near distance she saw Jen standing around. Strange, why wasn't she inside? Normally she wouldn't bother waiting outside for Natalie.
"Hey, Jen!!" Natalie pumped her arm into the air, waving enthusiastically. Jen didn't see her, so she shifted her backpack on her shoulders before making her way towards the slightly populated campus to her friend. But then, the following sight caused her to stop short. Walking towards Jen was Alec and his crew of what Natalie considered as the "the golden boys". What were they doing to Jen? Natalie jogged over, shoving her way through the Backstreet boys and stood defensively in front of Jen, her eyes narrowing viciously at him.
She glared up at the mischievous boy. Disdain filled her veins as she felt the corner of her lips go down. "What are you doing?"
He looked somewhat un-amused, but she stood her ground. Her backpack filled in what little space that separated her from him. Alec looked down on the five foot five girl who stood somewhat pathetically in front of him. "I was talking to her."
Natalie didn't glance back, her eyes still glued intently to his. "Liar. You're up to something." The glow in his eyes told her something. She was no longer going to underestimate Alec Whitman. Those blue eyes, they were the only things predictable about him. "What are you up to?" She muttered, lowly.
"Nothing, sweet cheeks," Alec leaned closer, tauntingly, a smile on his face and he shifted his gaze from her to Jen. "I was talking to her."
Jen remained silent. Natalie bit her lip, trying not to imagine Jen's horrid reaction to all this. She was going to pop a vein or two; she always threw tantrums.
Alec casually rested his elbow on Natalie's shoulder and the smaller girl immediately stiffened at his touch. Her innards torn between repulsion and happiness. His arm was so warm against her shoulders, goosebumps crawled up her neck and she stared ahead, stiff.
"Just wanted to ask if you wanted to hang at the Hurdle tonight," Alec said, seductively, his voice low and sweet. "With friends of course." Terror shot through Natalie's veins. The Hurdle was a nightclub where the bad teenagers went with their fake ID (in which Alec almost positively had). Two stories of pure techno horror equipped with a dirty pool that was only clean during the summer. Crawling with high students and nonchalant security guards, it was possibly the worst place to be for people like Natalie who preferred quieter and less crowded/dangerous places.
Jen is going to say no. She was her best friend, she's bound to reject his offer.
"Sure." The words hung in the air like a foul stench. Natalie's eyes grew round as her jaw dropped.
"Jen!" Natalie whirled around, breaking away from Alec's elbow. "What are you saying?!"
Jen looked at me sulking. It was that look. The look that she really wanted to go. She always had that look. "He asked me."
"I know Jen," Natalie ground out, stiffly, her eyes narrowing at her insensitive friend. "But you should know better than to--" Take the guy I like, but Natalie knew better than to say that.
"Than to, what?" Jen asked, innocently, her eyes wide and bashing. For the briefest moment, Natalie heard her mother's word flip through her mind like a sharp slap across her face. Betrayed, Natalie clenched her fists together.
"You can't go," Natalie said, her jaw set. "You can't."
The flash of anger flickered through Jen's eyes as she swished her hair behind her. She squared her petite frame and glared at Natalie. "Why shouldn't I? Just because you couldn't snag him doesn't mean I shouldn't begin to try. Besides he came to me, I'll just accept him with open arms. It just basically means he likes me."
"Shut up, Jen," Natalie snapped at her friend. "Shut up! You selfish little--" She couldn't bring herself to finish the word.
"Maybe this will be a wakeup call for your next crush. Instead of standing back and staring all the fucking time, how about actually using your mouth and talking to the person. What are you, a dog?" Jen retorted, furiously. What gave her the right to be so mad? What gave her the right?
Without a word to the girl, Natalie drew her fist back, tensing her muscles as she let it snap forward. Grunting, she whirled the fist around and directed it at Alec's face. He's a fast little bastard. He dodged most of the impact, but Natalie managed to clip his chin. He looked back at her smoothly with a curt grin on his face.
"Nice arm," he complimented, slickly as he flexed his jaw, revealing row upon row of straight teeth.
Natalie glared at him, angry tears in her eyes as her breath became shallow. "You're the sickest motherfucker ever. I hate you." If only her heart could go with those words. She didn't know what pained her more; her best friend leaving her to go out with the love of her life, or the love of her life asking her best friend instead of her. Clenching her backpack strap, she made her way towards the school building, ignoring his grinning face the whole way.
Despite their argument, a part of Natalie worried for Jen's safety. What if he raped her? Worst, what if he raped her to prove something to Natalie?! Natalie shook the thought away, she is of no significance to him, why would he go through all that trouble? He wouldn't go through all that trouble, his little frat party will do the job. Gritting her teeth, she entered the building and allowed the heavy door to slam shut behind her. Finally, something separated her from them, she could finally breathe again. The whole day, Jen ignored her. If she didn't ignore her, she glared at Natalie.
Feeling miserable, Natalie sighed and buried her face into her hands. She never realized how lonely she really was. Jen was her only friend, really. She gazed around the cafeteria to see that everybody was happily chatting in a group, it was only her that was left out. Jen was very easy to get along with, everybody loved her, it had always made Natalie curious as to why Jen would hang out with her. Picking up her tray of untouched food, she walked over to the trash and dumped everything in, sourly. This was just a phase, Natalie hoped. Glancing back, she saw Jen smiling at Alec who walked by, but Alec had his eye on Natalie who stood across the room glowering at him. He flashed her an electrifying smile before walking over to Jen and leaning in to talk
Natalie cursed as she slammed through the doors of the cafeteria. He was irritating her. What did he want? No, she's just being self-centered, her heart felt heavy as she squeezed her hands together. Maybe he really did like Jen, it'd be harsh of her to get in between two people who liked each other. Her chest ached as she bit her lips, she'd be the bitch, not Jen. Feeling crappy, she vowed to keep Jen safe even though she had talked to her so harshly. Natalie did owe Jen for a lot, Natalie sighed and ran a hand through her hair.
That evening, a black t-shirt and a spiffy ponytail later, she crept along the side of the building. She peeked from behind her fake glasses at Alec and Jen who were laughing together in the line. Behind them were groups of other school friends both of Alec's and Jen's mingling flirtatiously. Natalie ignored the feeling of being left out and snuck after them. She stood at the back of line, facing the other way so she wouldn't risk the chance of them recognizing her.
"Jen and Alec are the next item?" Natalie heard someone behind her squeal, shrilly.
"Yeah, from what I heard!" Was the girly response. Then there was a slight pause as she called out loudly. "It's strange though, why isn't Natalie here?"
"Aw, you know her, she wouldn't go to these places," the other girl assured dismissively. "Doubt it's gossip worthy."
Natalie bit her lips as she shuffled in the line as they moved, in an attempt to catch what they were saying. She glanced past their heads to see that Alec was talking chummily to the security guard. Figures that they'd know him! Natalie cursed him as he disappeared into the club with her and the rest of the group in tow. Her eyes searched frantically for them as the people swarmed in, she scuttled forward to try to catch up with them.
"Hold up, little miss!" A deep voice stopped her. A thick hand kept her from going through the entrance. She whipped her head to face the person who had was blocking her. "ID?"
"I-I don't have my ID on me right now!" Natalie lied, quickly, tiptoeing in an attempt to peer into the club. "Can you let me off just this once?"
"Sorry, little lady, can't!" He held his hands up defensively. "ID or no-entrance. It's the law."
"Oh, so you let teenagers with fake ID's in?" Natalie grumbled, skeptically.
"Fake identity cards? I've never heard of that," the guard smirked, broadly. "Out you go, little girl."
"Nope, get out before I call the cops!" He interrupted her sternly and turned to face the other guests who were eyeballing her with pitying and scornful eyes. Chagrinned, Natalie stalked off towards the distant alleyway. Alright, Plan A failed, it's time for Plan B. The pool should be around the building and there's usually just a wall that could be easily climbed. She jumped into the alleyway before he could see her and probably stop her again. Her eyes scaled the building, looking for the shorter, cement wall that should surround the pool. Her sensitive nose picked up on a chlorine scent, though it smelled mostly of algae. She trained her eyes on the not-so-small wall that had seemed to have no roof. Ah, ha! That was what she was looking for. Glancing behind her cautiously, she pulled herself up onto the sticky dumpster that was located right below the ledge of the wall. Years of swimming had built up her body muscles, so it was easy to hoist herself up onto the wall. Grunting, she threw her legs over the side and balanced herself carefully up at the top of the wall.
"Phew," she breathed quietly. The pool was lit, but the light barely made it past the thick layer of new life that had begun to grow in the unkempt pool. Disgusting, her nose wrinkled at the foul smell. The ground was damp and mossy, probably because of the water. She hoisted herself completely over and lowered herself slowly. Once her dangling feet were about one to two feet off of the ground, she let go and landed neatly on the concrete below. Natalie rolled her shoulders as she turned around to make her way into the club. Someone covered her eyes and yanked her back, away from the club. Almost immediately she began to fight whoever was blinding her.
"Let go of me!" She screamed as she struggled against the person's strong hold.
A chillingly, taunting voice drew close to her ears and asked, "how do you blindfold and Asian?"
A racist joke? She was surprised as she briefly stopped fighting and tried to decipher the familiar voice. It was the voice of someone she dreaded.
"Dental floss," he sang jokingly into her left ear. Goosebumps formed along her neck as his breath tickled her.
"Alec, let go of me," she ground out, her eyes glaring into the darkness of his large hands. His hands were for once kind of cold, not freezing, but just cold. She felt him pull her close.
"Not yet," he whispered. Her heart thudded against her ribcage as she stiffened. His arms dropped as he whirled her around. The same mischievous glow in his eyes that flickered like diamonds. Without a word, he leaned in and his lips made warm contact with hers. It felt like a dream or a nightmare if you include all the new things that Natalie had learned about him. His lips pulsated against her trembling ones.
"Natalie!" Someone screamed, maliciously. It ripped through the loud music and clawed at the immobile girl's eardrum. "What are you doing?" It was Jen.
Alec released her from his hold and let his thumb run casually along his lips, a smirk fresh on his face. Natalie felt bile come up her throat as tears stung her eyes. Jen stalked up to her and whipped her hand across Natalie's face. That caused the tears to overflow.
"How dare you?" Jen spat, fire burning behind her brown eyes. Her face was flushed.
"How dare me?" Natalie repeated emptily, her cheek beginning to smart. Fire burned in the pits of her belly as her hands slowly went up to caress her stinging cheek. Behind Jen, groups of people had begun to form. Natalie glared at Jen as tears blurred her vision. "Not me, Jen! How dare you! You know I liked him! You knew it!"
"NO! I liked him," Jen snapped, viciously.
Natalie clenched her jaw shut as her gaze fell to the ground, her ears beginning to heat up. Jen, you betrayed me. Jen wasn't serious, Natalie could hear it in her sharp tone. That was her lying voice. Natalie looked desperately at Jen who had her face contorted into an expression of hatred. "What did I do to you, Jen?"
"Is that really a question?" Jen snorted and then placed her hand on Natalie's shoulder in fake sympathy. "We've only been friends during high school. Did you save my life? No. Do I owe you anything? No! I just pitied you and you stuck to me like a fucking lost puppy."
Natalie trembled as her stomach rolled. Something inside her scolded at her for even trying to help this ingrate.
"Shut up!" Natalie screamed, her face turning red as she glared at her friend. "You…are… A SLUT. Didn't you say that about Thomas? Oh wait, or was it Ian! No, sorry, it was James, wasn't it, huh?!"
Jen's mouth opened in protest as Natalie put her hand up. "Don't speak." Natalie hissed through gritted teeth as she whirled around to face Alec, the root of all evil.
He looked amused and like he was enjoying this little show. Natalie stepped up to him, her eyes burning retribution.
"Hey, Alec," she began casually. He crossed his toned arms and smiled crookedly. Natalie returned his smile, warmly. "Why can't white people swim?"
Alec seemed to think the joke over, smoothly, his hand rubbing his chin as he did so. "I don't know, why?"
"'Cause crackers get soggy," she grunted and kicked him into the pool.