This was about to be a serious case of déjà-vu. No doubt about it.
Seven years previously, when I had just hit my double-digits, a boy who was about a head shorter than me and went by the name of Timothy Crowe, told me he liked me.
It was an unromantic feat on his part. He got his equally short and snotty friends to corner me in the playground before he approached me with a wide grin on his face, and declared his love for me in front of all my giggling buddies. I was mortified. Timothy Crowe had humiliated me in the presence of my friends, and he was waiting for a response, as if I would ever return his ridiculous feelings.
Someone must have been watching over Tiny Tim that day – a guardian angel or something. Despite my chasing him around the playground, beating him violently with my skipping rope, and burying his head into the toddler's sandbox, he remained in one piece.
It was a miracle if I had ever witnessed one.
I don't think Timothy ever recovered from that particular event in his life. Of course, he never spoke of feelings for me again, but he proceeded to grow a couple of inches over the next few years, until he gathered up the courage to somehow wheedle his way past me and ask out my best friend.
A year and a half after that fateful day, I stood in front of a door I never imagined I would approach in my life.
"Is Timothy in?"
God, it hurt to say the words. The mere fact that it was me seeking out him was embarrassing enough to make me want to hurl.
"You're joking, right?"
I glared up at Timothy's rottenly good-looking roommate – and funnily enough, the last person I wanted to speak to at that moment. "Actually, no. I'm being deadly serious. Is he in or not?"
Danny smirked. "Unfortunately for him, yeah. He's watching the match with everyone else."
I shoved past the only obstacle standing between me and my victim, ignoring the ridiculous blush working its way up my face, and approached the deafeningly loud television.
"Excuse me, Timo-"
"GO FOR IT MOTHERFUCKERS!"
Well. How rude.
"I hate to be a nuisance, but can I-"
"GET IT IN, COME ON, COME ON!"
"If I may-"
"NO, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE, WRONG FUCKING GOAL-"
"TIMOTHY CROWE, GET YOUR SKINNY ASS OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!"
The only noise for about three seconds was the delirious cheers of the crowd behind the screen of the television. Four heads turned in my direction, before the only one I was interested in scampered to his feet and tripped over his friend's legs in order to get to me.
He had clearly not forgotten my abilities in inflicting pain from seven years previous to that moment.
"Hi Em." Timothy murmured, scratching the back of his head nervously.
I would have felt sorry for him, but I was too fucking livid.
"Hello." I replied. My arms were folded across my chest in what was no other than the I Mean Business pose I had perfected over the years.
"Are you... Do you need something?"
"Yes." Your blood, I though instantly, but it might have been a slightly creepy thing to say aloud. "An explanation."
"For what?" Timothy prompted. He had stuck his hands into the pockets of his pants by now, and seemed to be avoiding my gaze at all costs.
But God, I could have slapped him right then.
"I think you might possibly know, Timmy." I said in a quiet voice.
He looked terrified. There was no other way to describe his wide eyes and parted lips and colourless skin. And I haven't even hit him yet, I thought in amusement.
"Um... no... I don't think so..."
I sighed and rolled my eyes. I was wasting my breath. Of course the prick knew what I was on about. He was just trying to buy himself some time to figure out an escape route before I pulverised him. "Fine. I'll spell it out for you, shall I? Can you possibly explain to me, if it isn't too much hassle of course, why my best friend is currently lying motionless on my floor, wailing for bloody England and flooding the entire bloody place?"
I was vaguely aware that the volume of the television had been turned down, and that four other boys were watching the scene I was making with evident glee.
Timothy swallowed. "Um... I don't think I could... no."
Control yourself Emma... Wait for your moment... don't pounce on him yet...
"I'll tell you, shall I?" My voice was shrill, even to my own ears. I was probably turning a delightful shade of strawberry red. Attractive or what. "Hayley is crying because of you. She is crying like a fucking lunatic because you cheated on her with your fucking lab partner, who by the way is the ugliest piece of shit I have ever witnessed in my entire life, and is nothing compared to your now ex-girlfriend. I am here to give you a chance to explain why the fuck you didn't have the decency to at least explain to your girlfriend why you were sleeping with some ugly randomer, and why you are sitting here watching football like you didn't just break someone's fucking heart."
I was breathless by now, and Timothy had progressively edged further and further away from my shaking form.
Any second now... You can beat the shit out of him... any... second... now...
"I didn't... You don't... I was going to..."
I clenched my hands into fists, gritted my teeth and made the leap. I was probably about three quarters of the way across to a terrified looking Timothy Crowe who was probably pissing himself the whole time, before I was stopped.
Was it divine intervention? Had God decided that The Bastard deserved a second chance at life?
No. It was fucking Daniel Parker and his stupid reflexes, grabbing onto my flying form mid-air before I could inflict any damage to his roommate and pathetic excuse of a best friend.
"Get off me!" He was ruining my plan! I kicked Danny's shin as hard as I could, but his grip on me refused to loosen. All I gained was a curse muttered under his breath.
Timothy had taken his chance to scamper to the other side of the room and hold up the remote control in case my captor lost his hold of me.
"Calm the fuck down." Danny whispered in my ear.
As if. I continued to squirm desperately, thrusting my body backwards and forwards in hope that I would be freed and once again able to end Crowe's life.
I decided to voice my intentions, since I wasn't getting anywhere physically.
"I AM GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU, YOU ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING WANKER!"
"Okay." Danny clutched onto my upper arms and effectively dragged me from the room before I could carry through with my threat. Underneath the rage and screamed swearing, I was pondering how strong the boy actually was. He was more lean than all-muscled-hulk, but his death grip on me was pretty impressive.
Other than this quick thought, I had nothing good to say about Daniel Parker at that moment.
"Danny, for God's sake! He broke my best friend's God damn heart, he deserves everything that's coming to him!"
"I know." Danny had steered me out of the apartment, and was now locking the door for good measure. "He's really quite a dick. But he also happens to be my friend, roommate, and the one who pays the majority of the rent. I can't let you murder him until I get a proper job to afford my shit."
"You have absolutely no taste. I can't believe you would even deny the obvious dominance of the salted variety in the peanut kingdom."
I flicked one at Hayley to make my point.
"You're taking this way more seriously than me, Emma." She pointed out, before throwing the peanut back so it smacked the centre of my forehead. "And anyway, judging by the number of people ordering unsalted peanuts every single day... there's no need to say more. I rest my case."
I rolled my eyes. "People come to the cafe after a long morning or afternoon of work. They're tired and confused, and sadly unable to pick out the best variety of peanuts from the worst."
At that moment, a head appeared at the kitchen door. "I hate to intrude, but you guys have been arguing about peanuts for the past ten minutes, and we need someone to man the counter."
I jumped down from the table and saluted little Sue, the spiky daughter of the cafe owner. "No problemo, Sue my friend."
Sue glared at me and pushed her glasses further up her nose. "You've rolled your skirt up again."
I glanced down at the navy uniform I was wearing. "Well, would you look at that."
"My mother distinctly told you not to roll your skirt up." Sue continued. "She says it's bad for profits."
"I beg to differ." Hayley said, grinning. "I'd say we've been getting more customers than ever since Emma started flashing her lady bits to the world."
"I do not flash anything, thank you very much!" I slapped her arm, appalled. "It's just that these stupid skirts are really uncomfortable."
"Well, whatever." Sue fiddled with her glasses again. "Someone serve the customers, please."
"Oh." The twelve year old dutifully accepting the job of Boss in her mother's absence returned to the door again. "I almost forgot. There are two boys here to see you."
Hayley turned to stare at me, wide-eyed. "You don't think..."
"Don't be long." Sue reiterated, before finally taking her leave.
"You stay here," I said quickly, "I'll go check."
Who else would be waiting at the otherwise empty counter, hands in pockets and staring at the cafe's menu, than my two least favourite people in the world.
"What the hell are you two doing here?"
They both glanced up at the sound of my voice, Timothy appearing decidedly more uncomfortable. Danny simply offered me a lazy grin, which I of course returned promptly with a scowl.
"Hayley?" Tiny Tim croaked out at last, edging backwards slightly so Danny was in front of him – presumably to protect him from my wrath.
"What about her?" I demanded, leaning forwards on the counter.
"Is she... here?"
I sighed. I couldn't exactly fight him in the middle of the cafe. It would ruin the well-earned reputation of the little place. Swallowing my pride, I went to the back-room to fetch my unfortunate best friend.
"Hayley, guess who-" I paused, and stared at the girl cowering beneath the table. "What do you think you're doing?"
"He's here!" She hissed, hugging her knees and rocking back and forth on her heels. "Why is he here?"
I smirked. "To talk to you, I presume. He's not my biggest fan."
"Get rid of him!" She said quickly.
I returned to the counter. "She doesn't want to talk to you."
Timothy growled and ran a hand through his sandy hair in frustration. I watched silently as he debated with himself, jingling the coins in his pockets nervously, before marching right around the counter, past me and through the door of the back-room to no doubt personally attack his lost lover.
Me and Danny stared at one another for a few moments, listening to the immediate squeak from Hayley, then their voices lulling into a calm conversation.
"Hi." He said at last.
I took a moment to look him over. Danny Parker was undoubtedly, and unfortunately, a great looking guy. He was tall and sported a messy mop of black hair, and had a pair of disturbingly bright eyes. He wore baggy shirts with names of bands or funny phrases scrawled across them, and he was one of those talented boys who spent the entirety of their teenage years perfecting the art of balancing jeans on the very verge of their bums, right where they appeared to be in the process of falling down.
I had known Danny for virtually my entire life. He had in fact been one of Timothy's pathetic friends who had stood by and watched him declare his attraction to me.
That was one thing I had never forgiven him for.
"Go out with me."
That was definitely not on the list of expected conversation starters from the one and only Danny Parker while our best friends were attempting to patch up their love lives in the room behind us.
He grinned. Danny had the most ridiculous grins. They involved his mouth lifting up on one side, his teeth only showing slightly, and his eyes crinkling a very controlled amount. It was enough to turn my stomach inside out – in a good or bad way, I was unable to decide. "Go out with me."
"Why the hell would I do that?"
He shrugged, leaning against the counter and blowing his air out of his eyes. "Because we're both single."
"Lame." I muttered.
"Because you stare at me when you think I'm not looking."
I gaped at him. "I do not!" He must have awesome peripheral vision...
"Because I know more about you than any other guy."
"Not true!" I cried out quickly. "What's my favourite colour? What am I scared of? Who was my first kiss?"
"Yellow, cats and me." He said promptly, his eyes twinkling.
Oh my God...
Danny embraced the silence and decided to continue. "That's a good one, actually. Because I was your first kiss."
I blushed hotly and swiftly thought back to the spin the bottle game when my lips had officially lost their virginity.
"Because I'm the only guy who has and ever will spend a night watching Jackie Chan films with you."
That was a good night. I never forgot how our thirteen year old selves had been reduced to tears while laughing at each other's attempts to copy the moves on the television screen. I also never forgot how warm Danny's arms were when we fell asleep on the couch.
"Because I have kissed you every single New Years since we turned eleven."
And I've been keeping count, too...
"Because I'm the only one who can possibly match your levels of violence."
I marched around the counter until I was directly in front of him, clenching my fists and attempting to control my blush. He might have been right about all the other things, but not the last one! No. Way. In. Hell.
I took a deep, steadying breath, avoiding his shining eyes and achingly beautiful hair and perfect face... and lifted a hand to slap him hard across the cheek. Surprisingly, he let me, and I watched as he turned his head back to look down at me again.
"See?" I boasted, smiling determinedly up at him, even though I was shaking. I drove a fist into his gut and watched as he bent over only slightly, then released his breath and glared at me. "I'm way more violent than you ever will be."
I lifted my knee to kick him somewhere he could never possibly forget... but somehow, in the few milliseconds he had before losing the ability to have children, Danny grabbed my waist and shoved me hard against the counter, taking hold of my lifted leg and wrapping it around his waist.
I stared up at him, taking in his wide, taunting grin, and feeling my skin burn in the areas they were in contact with him. I couldn't help the blush covering my entire face. He was between my legs for Christ's sake. I clutched onto the material of his shirt for balance, attempting to glare into his darkening eyes.
"You were saying?" He whispered. The words brushed over my mouth, and I found myself glancing down at his enticing lips. I swallowed.
"I... I'm..." Goddammit!
Danny chuckled softly, the sound reverberating in his chest. I could hardly breathe. One of his hands was holding me firmly around the waist, while the other travelled up my thigh, my side, over my shoulder and up my neck, until he was running his cold fingers down my cheek and brushing them across my lips.
I think I may die right now.
He lowered his head slightly so I was looking straight into those bright, brown eyes, and smiled gently at me.
In that moment, I realised a dozen other reasons why I shouldn't be saying no to this boy... a dozen other reasons he had failed to mention. The fact that he had buried my pet rat with me when we were nine, the fact that he had tutored me for Physics GCSE every Friday night for two months, the fact that he had been the only one to not run away when I was crying the first time I got my period, the fact that he...
The fact that he hadn't said anything when Timothy had asked me out in the playground seven years ago... and that that was what upset me the most about the whole thing.
I suppose he had been the reason for my violence toward any other boy suggesting that he liked me.
"I should be beating you to a pulp." I murmured, my eyes flicking to his as I ran my hands over his upper arms and hooked them around his shoulders.
Danny's eyes widened slightly, before he relaxed into another cocky grin, this time less cocky and more triumphant. "But you're not."
"No." I agreed, threading my fingers through his hair and pulling him down to me. "I'm not."
The moment our mouths connected was only a zillion times better than the spin-the-bottle and New Years kisses we had had before. I arched my back, pressing my body to his, as he bent his head to deepen our already fiery kiss. I tugged slightly at the black hair which had taunted me with its silky appearance for years while he gripped onto the back of my neck and my leg simultaneously.
"What the fuck?"
In any other circumstance, we would probably have sprung apart to complete opposite sides of the room at the sound of Timothy's outraged voice. But considering our current position, and our already laboured breathing, we only separated our lips and turned our heads to face our gaping friends.
"Um..." For once, Danny appeared to be at a loss for words.
"You can't be..." Timothy paused and stared at me. "Her?"
I glared at him, before glancing down at their interlinked hands. I looked up at a flushed Haley. "You can't be serious." I mimicked Timothy. "Him?"
Danny chuckled softly in my ear, which only reminded me of our current position and made me turn an undoubtedly stunning shade of red.
At that exact moment, Spiky Sue walked in from the back room and stared at my compromising situation with who I was supposing was my new... partner in crime. She proceeded to turn her own interesting shade of red, and yelled in a very unladylike manner:
"I can see right up your skirt!"
Hahah. Just a light-hearted little oneshot. Again, I used my own terrible technique of thinking up the story line as I went along. Naughty me.
I hope you liked it.
It literally takes ONE second of your time, but it makes my day! I will probably break down if I get any number of favouriters who don't review.
Thank you for reading x