A/N: Ignore the sprelling and grammar mistakes...I'll fix them eventually
Try as she might, Kelli knew she couldn't keep ignoring Dylan. It was a weakness. Something about him always drew her in. Kind of like the proverbial moth to the flame. She being the moth and him being the flame, of course.
Besides he was sitting not three feet from her. How could she even pretend not to hear her best friend at that distance?
Slowly, Kelli turned her head, not wanting the teacher to take notice. They were currently taking a test and Kelli was pretty certain as to why Dylan was trying to nab her attention. The cheat!
She looked at him, cocking an eyebrow questioningly. "Yes," she hissed, keeping her voice low.
Dylan shot her a quick knowing smile. That's right. Dylan knew her too well. He knew that she hated cheaters, but for whatever reason gave into him every time.
For her own sake, she was glad he hadn't figured it out. It was just too embarrassing, too clichéd really. Maybe it was because she had promised herself she would never be that girl. You know, the one that falls irrevocably in love with her best friend. The one that has to combat the ugly green-eyed monster every time she sees him with his new girlfriend or mopes around like a lost dog because he would rather spend his free time with 'said girlfriend' over her. Yeah, unfortunately, she had become that girl even after promising herself she wouldn't.
It was humiliating to think that she had fallen into the realm of unrequited love. No, actually, forget humiliating, it just sucked. Her life was no longer the same carefree life anymore. Now, she spent most of her time stuck in daydreams, fantasizing about Dylan and the possibility that he just might feel the same way. That he would someday profess his undying love for her. And then reality strikes. Taking a big bite out of her magical dream world and forcing her to realize that it's never going to happen. That he just doesn't have those feelings for her. That all they will ever be is 'friends.'
"What's the answer for fifteen," he whispered to her.
Kelli rolled her eyes at him. "Really, you're only on question fifteen?"
"Hey, we can't all be geniuses like you Miss. Smarty-pants."
"Yeah, right," she muttered sarcastically under her breath, turning to look down at her paper. Ignoring him, she decided to let him sweat it out for a while.
Seconds later she felt a tap on the side of her sneaker. And then another one, a little harder this time, when she didn't respond to the first.
Kelli glared back at Dylan knowing that he would just keep kicking her foot until he got what he wanted.
"Well?" he questioned quietly.
"Dylan, I am not helping you cheat. Figure it out yourself."
"Aw, but you're my best friend. You can't just leave me hanging like this." He gave her his best pouty face expression.
Oh, damn, him! How could she say no to a face like that? It was virtually impossible.
"Stop it! You're going to get us in trouble," she admonished, softly.
"Please," he begged. "Just this one. I…"
Dylan was immediately cut off by someone's shushing.
Kelli looked up seeing Jennifer turned in her seat glowering at them. Once she turned back around, Kelli stuck her tongue out at the girl. Frickin' goody two-shoes. If anyone was going to shush her best friend it would be her.
She turned to see Dylan smirking at her, that cute little dimple of his pulling at his right cheek.
"That was a little childish, don't you think," he commented, fully grinning now.
"Shut up," she grumbled back, focusing on her test again.
Not two seconds later she received a sharp poke to her side. Kelli yelped quite loudly, bolting upright in her chair at the unexpected jab.
Immediately thirty pairs of eyes were looking straight at her, wait, correction, thirty-one pairs of eyes, can't forget Mr. Anderson.
She could feel the blood rushing to her head from embarrassment as everyone stared at her. Horrified she could only stare back, mouth agape.
"Are you alright, Kelli," Mr. Anderson asked concernedly.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she squeaked out, finally regaining some of her senses. "I uh..." Kelli cleared her throat, while Mr. Anderson waited expectantly for her to explain.
An excuse! What could she use for an excuse!? She thought rapidly, starting to panic and then glanced down. Her pencil!
"I just uh…accidentally stabbed myself with my pencil," she lied.
"Oh, do you need to go to the nurse?"
"No, oh no," Kelli rushed on clarifying. "I really am fine. No blood, just shockingly painful is all," she babbled, feeling extremely self-conscious at the moment.
"Well, if you're alright then. Everyone get back to the test. There's still ten minutes left 'till the end of class. Don't waste it," Mr. Anderson ordered.
Once everyone had turned around, Kelli slumped down in her chair wanting to sink into the floor. She put a hand to her hot forehead, letting out a long, shuddering breath that she had been holding in for the past thirty seconds.
From the corner of her eye she glimpsed Dylan's shaking form as he tried to hold in his laughter.
"Jerk," she mumbled.
His shoulders only shook harder as a result. Thankfully he had enough sense not to bother her again. If he had she probably would have murdered him right there in class. With her stinking pencil.
After the bell rang, Kelli rushed out the door wanting to avoid Dylan for the moment. The hallway was packed and it didn't help that she had to walk against the flow of students to get to her locker. With it being the end of the school day, most students had been smart enough to grab their stuff before the last period. Not her though.
No, instead she had to make a mad dash to her locker, grab her stuff and then run all the way back to the parking lot to catch the bus. Because for whatever reason the buses never seemed to wait anymore than two minutes before leaving, it was like an unwritten rule or something. She always wondered if the bus drivers found it funny to leave helpless teenagers stranded at school because they couldn't catch the bus in time.
She reached her locker and opened it, only to have it immediately slammed shut in her face.
"Hey, watch it," she growled before looking at the culprit.
Why her heart had to do a little flip-flop in her chest at this specific moment she didn't really know. Maybe it was the simple knowledge that he had followed her that had caused it.
Oh, God, did this mean her crush was getting worse? Wait, no that couldn't be correct. She just misinterpreted her emotions. It was an angry heart palpitation not a giddy one, right? Whatever, she was sticking with angry.
"What the hell, Dylan? You know I need to get to the bus before it leaves. Why'd you do that?"
"Chill Kel, jeeze. And aren't you forgetting something?" he questioned.
Kelli froze looking up at him, a blank expression on her face. After a moment of thought she slowly raised her right shoulder, shrugging.
"Um, no?" she asked sheepishly.
"You're joking right?" he deadpanned.
"No, I don't think so," Kelli added uncertainly. Fidgeting a little bit because she really wasn't sure what it was that she was forgetting.
Dylan rubbed his forehead closing his eyes and then proceeded to drag his hand down his face. He looked slightly exasperated. "Kelli, what's today?"
"Friday," she answered, slowly, drawing the word out.
"Right, and what else?" he prompted.
Kelli wracked her brain for any piece of information that might help jog her memory. It was something about today. Friday, being important. What was so important that she shouldn't have…And then it dawned on her causing her eyes to widen.
Dylan grinned at her expense. "Bingo, I think we have a winner."
She slapped her forehead closing her eyes. "Oh, my God, Dylan!" She looked at him. "I can't believe I forgot! I didn't even remember to buy her a present!" Kelli freaked.
The person she forgot to buy a present would be Dylan's eight year old little sister, Shannon. The girl was having her first ever sleepover party and of course had to invite Kelli to it. Even though Kelli was practically ten years older than all the girls that were invited to this thing, it's not exactly like she had the option to say no. Who was she to hurt the feelings of her best friend's little sister? Anyway Kelli actually viewed it more as playing chaperone than anything else.
Dylan chuckled, pulling a key ring from his pocket. "No worries Kel, I figured you'd probably forget so I came prepared." He twirled the car key around his index finger to prove the point. "Guess we're making a quick stop at the mall before we go to my house."
Kelli, of course, being overjoyed by this fact launched herself at Dylan, wrapping her arms around his shoulders in a tight bear hug. "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…" she repeated over and over again.
Dylan hugged her back.
She reveled in the feel of having Dylan's arms wrapped around her. Kelli had to admit, there were perks to having a crush on her best friend, even if it did seem kind of stalker-ish and wrong to take advantage of their friendship in this way. But, boy, did he smell good. Really, good.
"I love you, Dylan," she mumbled into the front of his hoodie.
There was a short pause before Dylan squeezed her a little tighter and gave her his typical response. "I'm your best friend. You're just saying that because you have to."
Kelli knew that wasn't true though. She didn't have to say it at all. The only reason she said it was because she couldn't lie to him. He just never seemed to get that.
Currently, Kelli was standing in the girls' toy isle for twelve year olds and younger, hemming and hawing over what to buy Shannon. And to be perfectly honest she had no clue what to get her. All of the pink and purple packages were a little disorienting to say the least.
"Could you hurry up and pick something already," Dylan whined beside her.
She couldn't hide the smirk that formed on her lips as she browsed through the displays. Ah, yes, sweet revenge. She was so enjoying using this form of torture on Dylan for the embarrassment she endured in class earlier.
"You know Dylan this is what happens when you have a girl for a best friend. You have to go into the girly parts of the store with her."
"No," Dylan corrected, "this is what happens when you have a little sister instead of a little brother."
"True," she conceded, nodding her head. "So since she's your little sister, what do you think I should get her?"
Dylan wrinkled his nose at her question. "I don't know. I'm not a girl."
"Dylan! She's your sister. At least tell me what you got her so I don't get her the same thing."
Kelli bent over looking at one of the toy ponies on a lower shelf. For some reason it struck her as a little too childish for an eight year old. She tossed a glance over her shoulder at Dylan, who had still not answered her.
He seemed to be focused on something at her level or just below it. She looked back at the shelves. What the hell was he staring at? Again she looked back over her shoulder at him.
"Yo, Dylan." Kelli waved a hand to get his attention. "Dylan, this is Earth calling your name." She mimicked an announcer's voice and snapped her fingers.
Dylan shook his head. "Sorry, I kind of zoned out there for a second," he explained, his face turning pink. His eyes darted back down to that spot again before returning to her face.
What the hell was that about, Kelli wondered?
"Sure," she replied instead, really not interested in pushing the subject. "So what did you get her?"
"I don't know." He shrugged his shoulders. "Mom bought her something for me."
Kelli rolled her eyes, looking at the ceiling, "Should have known."
"Anyway, did you find something yet," he asked hopefully.
"No. I'm still looking so cool it."
"For crying out loud, at this rate she'll be twenty before you find what you're looking for."
"Oh, quit complaining. No one has seen you hanging out in the little girls section, yet, so your masculinity is still intact," Kelli answered. "Besides short of being dragged out of this store by my ankles, I can't leave until I find her the right gift."
She heard Dylan release an audible sigh behind her, followed with a partially grumbled, "Great."
Suddenly, two hands clamped down on her shoulders, spinning her around.
Before she could get another word out Dylan had bent down and wrapped an arm around her upper thighs and lifted her off the ground. The action threw her off balance causing her upper half to fall forward over his shoulder so that her ass was basically sticking up in the air.
Her heart pounded heavily against her chest as his left hand gripped her upper leg just a little too high to be considered plutonic. His thumb pressing into her inner thigh sent little sparks shooting up through her groin and belly causing her face to turn a brilliant shade of red.
Oh, God she thought. This could not be happening. The way her body was reacting had her feeling so dirty. This was so wrong, but she couldn't deny the fact that being thrown over his shoulder like that had definitely turned her on. And being turned on was something Kelli didn't need right now.
"What are you doing," she hissed, tossing her head to the side to flip her long hair out of her face. Her hands were braced against his lower back so that she wasn't hanging completely upside down.
She felt his back muscles tense under her grip. Ignore it, she silently reminded herself, gritting her teeth.
"Put me down!"
"We're leaving and I'm not going to drag you by your ankles to do it. I thought this way would be more comfortable for you."
"Dylan! We're in a public place and this is embarrassing me! Please, put me down," she practically begged.
He stopped and for a moment she thought he was actually going to listen to her. Instead he plucked a toy package off the shelf and handed it back to her. Kelli took it, readjusting her other hand so that she was gripping his waist. The abdominal muscle under her fingers clenched sending an involuntary shiver down her spine. She was going to freaking combust if this kept up.
"There now you have a birthday gift," he said, fully ignoring her previous plea and continued down the isle.
"Good, so now you can put me down," she shrieked.
"Oh, hell no," Dylan replied. "Not until we get to the cashier. You're staying right here…" He patted her ass making her blush fiercely as they were now in full view of the customers, "because I don't trust you not to run back there and find a different gift."
"Damn it, Dylan," she growled at him. "I really hate you."
"Eh, no you don't."
She snorted in retaliation. Not much she could say to that. He was right after all.
"See… if you really hated me you would have had a better comeback than blowing snot all over my back."
"I did not blow snot all over your back!"
"Sure you didn't," he teased.
Kelli didn't bother answering. At the moment, she was just wondering when Dylan would realize that his hand was still resting on her ass. She may not have minded so much if it weren't for the fact that she couldn't seem to get her breathing under control. Talk about sensory overload.
Kelli collapsed in a kitchen chair across from Sherry Brower, Dylan and Shannon's mom. They had both just finished a three hour marathon of dealing with fifteen, eight year old girls. Ten of which had finally been sent home for the night.
"Kelli, thank you so much for helping out with this," Sherry said.
"No problem, Sherry. I'm glad I could help."
"Are Shannon and the others getting ready for bed?"
"Yeah, they just went up to Shannon's room a few minutes ago," Kelli answered. Five of the girls were staying for the sleepover part of the party. A smart move by Sherry because fifteen girls in one house, over night, was just way too many.
"Is there anything else down here you want me to help you with Sherry?"
"Oh, no, I've got this under control," she stated, throwing a paper plate into a plastic trash bag. "Just," her eyes glanced upward, "keep the girls from getting into too much trouble and make sure they get to bed at a normal hour."
Kelli stood up and saluted. "You got it Sherry. Secret agent Kelli Morris is on the case."
Sherry laughed. "Good. I'd hate to think that all of my bribing you with cake and ice-cream went to waste."
"Nope, that it definitely did not. Have a good night."
"You too, Kelli. And if they become too much to handle you be sure to come and get me, ok?"
Kelli went up the stairs and knocked on Shannon's door before entering. "Hey, girls," she called out, poking her head into the room. All six girls were sitting in a circle on the floor.
"Hey!" They chirped back, turning towards her.
"You're just in time, Kelli," Shannon said.
Kelli shut the door behind her and joined their small circle, sitting between Marie and Penny. "Oh, yeah, for what," she asked.
"Truth or Dare."
Were the two responses that she received from everyone. Truth or dare, huh? Well, it seemed like a pretty harmless game since the majority of the girls in the room were eight years old. Kelli didn't see anything wrong with playing it. It's not like they could get into a lot of trouble at their age anyway.
"Okay, sounds like fun," Kelli agreed. "Shannon you get to ask first since it's your birthday."
Everything started off just as harmless as Kelli assumed it would. The girls seemed to be sticking with truth over the dare part of the game. Things didn't really start to snowball until Jessica asked Kelli if she had ever kissed a boy before. To which she answered yes and then had to explain the pros and cons of kissing as they got sidetracked from the game.
Of course once they got back to the game the subject matter started to change. Following more of a, which boy do you like better and who do you have a crush on, type theme. Kelli was starting to think that this game wasn't as harmless as she first thought.
What if they asked her who she had a crush on? Then she thought about how stupid she was being because all she would have to do is lie. But what if Shannon decided to blab to Dylan? And what if Dylan asked her about it? Would she have to lie to Dylan too? Wait, why was she getting so worked up about this? These girls were eight years old. Why would they care who she had a crush on? It didn't really matter, right? They wouldn't really ask her that question, would they?
By this time, Kelli had herself flustered to the point of not thinking clearly. That's why when Shannon asked her, truth or dare?
She blurted out, "Dare."
Major mistake on her part.
A large grin spread across Shannon's innocent young face, making it look less… innocent. Ashley leaned over and whispered something into Shannon's ear to which the young girl nodded her head. A couple of the girls squealed excitedly as this seemed to confirm some secret that only they were privy too. This couldn't be good.
Shannon cleared her throat dramatically, rubbing her hands together in a mischievous fashion.
"I dare you to kiss Dylan," she stated so calmly it was as if she had just asked Kelli to pour her a glass of water.
Kelli on the other hand was not calm. This was not supposed to be happening. This game had gone far enough and she was going to put a stop to it. There was no way she would let an eight year old child dare her to do something that she's wanted to do for over a year now, but can't do because she and Dylan were only friends. And she was going to tell Shannon no and…wait.
Kelli paused in the middle of her mental rant and looked at the expectant faces staring back at her. She rewound her last thought; something she's wanted to do, but can't, played back through her head. And then she re-ran Shannon's dare. A warm, giddy feeling slowly invaded her belly as realization struck. She held back the grin that was threatening to erupt on her face.
What she was going to do would probably really piss Dylan off or just gross him out, but she couldn't pass up this opportunity. Oh, no, she was going to take full advantage of Shannon's dare and finally do something she's wanted to do for a very long time.
"Okay," Kelli told Shannon. "I'll do it, but everyone has to stay here. You can't follow me."
Six heads bobbed up and down in rapid unison.
"Can we watch from the door," Marie asked.
Kelli contemplated her question for a second. "Yes, but do not leave the room," she warned.
The girls seemed content with this arrangement as Kelli stood up. She left the door slightly ajar so that the girls could peak through a crack, but if everything worked out like she hoped; they weren't going to see anything.
As Kelli walked down the hall to Dylan's room she found her courage slipping. She was determined to go through with this though. Courage or not, it was her only chance to do this with a semi-plausible excuse.
Kelli's nerves started to form a knot in the pit of her stomach and her hand trembled when she lifted it to knock on his door. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, hoping it would help. It didn't. Crap, she thought just before taking the plunge and knocking.
"Hey, Dylan," she called out.
"What," he replied, his voice sounding kind of strained. What the hell was he doing in there?
"Can I talk to you for a second?"
"Yeah, just give me a minute," he replied. Kelli heard metal clanking on metal. Must have caught him while he was working out.
A second later she heard the lock click and he pulled open the door. Kelli's breath caught in her throat.
"Hey, so what did you want," he asked, leaning against the door frame.
Dylan wasn't wearing a shirt and his shorts were slung low on his hips. A towel hung from his right hand. He had used it to wipe off the sweat, but had obviously missed some. Kelli's eyes followed the small trickle of perspiration as it slowly ran down the center of his chest and over firm flat abs, making its way towards his naval.
Kelli was pretty sure if it weren't for the fact that her mouth was shut, she would have been drooling. And she knew this because her mouth was definitely watering.
Dylan crossed his arms over his chest. His muscles rippled and stretched causing Kelli's pulse to spike up a notch.
"Enjoying the view," he asked her teasingly. That smirk with the cute dimple was on his face again, it snapped her out of her mindless daze.
"Yes…No! I mean no," she corrected, feeling like an idiot. Heat infused her face. God, how many times was he going to make her blush today? It had to be some sort of record for sure.
Dylan, of course, laughed. She punched his shoulder lightly, giving him her best scowl.
"Look," Kelli said, finally recovered from her small mistake. "I'm only bothering you right now because the girls and I had this game going. And now it's my turn to keep my end of the bargain," she explained in one long rush.
"Okay," Dylan answered, raising an eyebrow. "So how does this involve me?"
"Well," Kelli breathed out leaning into him on tip-toes, "promise me you won't hate me for this."
She was practically shaking from nerves when she leaned against his bare chest. His heat seeped through her t-shirt upon contact, warming her and making her very aware of the hard contours of his body.
Kelli's hands automatically gripped his upper arms, holding on to him tightly just incase he tried to back away. She used his solid strength to help steady her own jumpy nerves. And for a split second as her face neared his, she almost chickened out, but didn't. She knew she would have regretted not kissing him even more than if she did.
Her eyes closed the second her lips made contact with his. She didn't want to see how he'd react to this. It scared her really, so she kept the pressure of her lips against his light. Not wanting to push the boundaries, but at the same time wanting too.
The soft, warmth of his lips pressed against her own had her fighting the impulse to kiss him harder. And as much as she wanted to give into that, she couldn't, because sadly, even though Dylan wasn't pulling away from her, he wasn't kissing her back either. Kelli pretty much knew to expect this, but it still kind of hurt to know for sure that he didn't share her feelings. She felt a small twinge in her chest as this knowledge set in. In defeat she let her lips linger against his for a moment longer. A simple little indulgence for her own keepsake then Kelli started to slowly pull away.
Dylan's arms move under her grip. Her eyes popped open the second she felt his hands grab her hips and pull her flush against him. She jerked her head back letting out a small audible gasp, shocked by Dylan's quick movement.
He leaned down towards her. So close that his breath brushed against her lips.
"Kels," he whispered. A small smile on his face as he looked intently into her eyes.
Too stunned to really do anything at the moment all Kelli could really muster up was a tiny, "Uh huh?" And stare back at him.
"First, if that's all you got, then you're a really bad kisser," he informed, quietly, still smiling at her. "Second, you're not as smart as you think you are if you assumed that I could ever hate you for kissing me and third, who do you think gave my sister the idea to play truth or dare?"
It took one very long minute for Kelli to fully process everything Dylan had said. Then another to get her brain back into full functioning mode. She blinked and looked down to where his hands rested on her hips, verifying that this was not just another daydream. The towel he had been holding was on the floor at their feet. She lifted her head and looked back at his smirking face.
"Let me get this straight," she said slowly, her heart thundering in her chest as she tried to contain the exhilaration threatening to burst from her body. "You had your sister play truth or dare so that she could dare me to kiss you?"
He shrugged his shoulders, an innocent look on his face. "Well, yeah, I figured what the hell? An eight year old can't force you to do something you don't already want to do, right?
True, Kelli thought, nodding her head for him to continue.
"And I thought that if you did the dare that it would mean you actually wanted to kiss me, which might mean your feelings are the same as mine," he finished.
"I see," she stated, feeling her stomach coil at his admission. "And how does telling me that I'm a bad kisser work into this little plan of yours," she questioned.
"Come on, even you have to admit that kiss was a little weak."
"Dylan! How the hell am I suppose to know how far to take a kiss when you don't kiss me back?"
"But that wasn't part of the dare," he replied, grinning back at her. "Besides counting the number of times you've caught me staring at your ass, I thought it would be obvious."
Kelli thought back for a moment. "So that's what you were staring at in the store today?"
Dylan chuckled. "I sure as hell wasn't staring at your sneakers if that's what you're thinking," he replied.
Kelli felt that familiar heat rushing back to her face. Not again! She went to cover her face with her hands, but Dylan stopped her before she could.
"Don't," he said, holding her hands. "You look cute when you blush."
"Shut up," she grumbled looking away.
His warm fingers grasped her jaw bringing her face back around to his.
"Make me," he dared.
Kelli couldn't stop the grin that broke out across her face as she leaned up and kissed him. This time he kissed her back and it was definitely worth the wait.
In the background Kellie heard quiet giggles erupt down the hallway. A few small squeals were added to the mix.
Dylan pulled back, mumbling against her lips, "I think we have spies."
"Then we're just going to have to keep this PG," she replied, smiling into his next kiss.