"Miss Davenport, could you please refrain from discussing your personal life within this classroom, Mr Grimshaw is trying to work but your incessant chit-chat continues to prevent him from doing so."
Sydney immediately turned towards Mr Bennett, the English teacher and apologised for the second time.
"If it happens again I'll have to set you a detention Sydney and as Head Girl that would not be setting a good example for the younger students. Now considering how much you seem to want to talk you now have the honour of reading the rest of this entire passage to the rest of the class, in your own time Sydney." The balding man said with a slightly smug sneer.
Sorry, Ben mouthed as he turned towards Sydney who was releasing a long sigh before she started to recite the short story that Mr Bennett had been in the middle of before she tried to continue her conversation with Ben.
Once her monologue ended Sydney lowered the book and found Ben watching her closely with a smile. "You were really good…I could listen to you talk all day." he whispered with a wink.
"You do listen to me talk all day." she replied quietly, turning back towards the front of the classroom where the lesson was wrapping up, she copied down her homework and packed her bag when she heard the shrill ringing of the lunchtime bell.
"Where are you on duty today?" Ben asked as he took her hand into his and walked her to her locker.
"Lunch hall." She said with a groan. "How about you?"
"I've got football practice so I'm off today." Sydney turned towards him and pouted slowly. "Oh look at that lip…" he mumbled a moment before he took it between his own and nibbled it softly. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his body closer to hers, opening her mouth to his. They jumped apart when they heard someone clearing their throat loudly behind them, both were blushing profusely as they took in the frown on Mr Brown's face.
"Ben…Sydney…could you please behave yourselves in front of other students, this isn't an appropriate place for the two of you to flaunt your relationship with each other."
"We know, sir…just got carried away for a moment, it won't happen again." Ben said quickly, stepping in front of Sydney slightly.
Mr Brown nodded and walked away from them slowly, pausing to reprimand several other students on his way.
"Kiss-ass." Sydney whispered into Ben's ear and he turned back towards her with a smirk.
"Well what else was I going to say to him: 'Sorry sir but my girlfriend makes me so hard I can't even think straight?"
"Is that really how you feel?"
"You know it is…I like to think I've proven it enough times."
Ben closed the gap between them and pressed a quick kiss to her lips. "I gotta go, see you after lunch." He said quickly before heading over to his own locker and leaving Sydney alone.
She checked her watch and then rushed to the lunch hall to begin her duties. As she entered the large room her eyes were drawn to a small table in the corner where her friends were gathered.
"Hey Syd!" Sam called when she spotted her, waving her over to sit with them.
"I can't stay…duties." Sydney mumbled in response.
"Why? I thought you usually delegated so you wouldn't have to do the crappier ones." Adrina said as she passed Sydney a bottle of Diet Coke. "Where's Ben?" she added, looking around the hall for him.
"A couple of the prefects are off on a trip today so I've had to cover this one and Ben is at football practice so he can't do anything. I hate being in here, the younger kids are all douches."
Her friends all agreed enthusiastically before Sydney made her way over to monitor the lunch queue. Several of the younger boys were pushing and shoving each other within the line and Sydney reluctantly moved them to the back of the queue, hoping that they would start to behave themselves before she had to remove them from the room entirely.
The rest of her duty was uneventful, as they often were and Sydney found herself watching the clock for almost an hour until the bell finally rang again and she was relieved of her responsibility. Forcing her way through the busy corridor she returned to her form room to find a couple her classmates already in their seats, waiting for the arrival of their form tutor and fellow students.
The room seemed to fall silent as she made her way across the space to her seat next to the window and she knew she was not imagining the way everyone's eyes were following her as she moved.
"What's going on?" She whispered to Ben as she sat next to him.
"Michaela saw us together earlier and has been bitching about it ever since…so just keep your distance from her for a while, ok?" he mumbled back quickly.
"What's she been saying about us?" Sydney asked with a discreet glance towards the brunette on the other side of the room.
Ben frowned and rested his hand on her knee under the table, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "Don't worry about it."
"What the fuck?"
Sydney and Ben sharply turned towards the shrill voice of Michaela when she saw the way Ben was caressing her gently.
"Leave it, Michaela." Ben said firmly before Sydney had the chance to reply.
"No, I won't leave it. The two of you have been showcasing this pathetic excuse of a relationship for months now and I'm sick of it! No-one else seems to have the guts to tell you but it's disgusting."
"What are you talking about? Months? We've never done anything like what you saw earlier in school before." Sydney replied calmly.
"I don't have to see it…I know what Ben looks like when he's been fooling around and I've seen him like that several times since the two of you started doing your prefect duties together."
"You're making a fool of yourself." Ben said with a sigh. "And you don't know what you're talking about."
"Yeah she does…" Patrick interrupted as he pulled his earphones out and stared at the two of them. "I've noticed that the two of you have been getting cosier recently…get out while you can Ben…she's a cocktease."
"Shut up!" Ben yelled suddenly, jumping to his feet and turning to face Patrick. "Just because she wouldn't let you put your filthy hands all over her doesn't mean you can talk about her like this!"
"Ben…just leave it alone." Sydney said quietly, grabbing his hand and attempting to pull him back down into his seat but he shrugged off her hand easily and continued to stare menacingly at Patrick.
"Don't touch him!" Michaela loudly said as she stormed over to Sydney. "You have the audacity to steal him from me and you think I'll just let you rub it in my face and do nothing about it? Well, you've got another thing coming!"
"I didn't steal him from you…he never wanted you in the first place." Sydney replied.
"Well he let me suck his cock before he let you come anywhere near him…he doesn't want you…you're just a convenient little whore who puts it on a plate for him so he thinks he wants you… He just knows you're the safest bet for keeping his dick wet!"
Ben immediately turned towards Michaela, his face set in an angry grimace. "What did you just say?" Sydney was taken aback by the tone of his voice, never before had she heard someone speak with such an air of contempt and judging by the look on Michaela's face, she had not either. "Don't you ever try to belittle how I feel for Sydney. If anyone is the whore here, it's you! You got down on your knees for me after one date."
"Ben!" Sydney said with a gasp. "Don't argue back…just ignore her."
"Didn't you here what she said about you…about us? You think I'm going to let her talk like that?"
"I don't care what she thinks, we both now it isn't true so why are you letting it bother you?"
"I don't know." Ben said, his voice sounding much calmer than it had a moment ago.
The door to the classroom opened and several more students walked through, gossiping loudly before they noticed the tense standoff on the opposite side of the room.
"What's going on?" Adrina asked, making her way over to stand near Sydney and Ben's table.
"Nothing." Michaela said quickly, moving back to her own seat with Patrick following her soon after.
"Ben! Are you going to be staying for dinner?"
Dale's voice startled the two teens who abruptly pulled their lips apart and tried to calm their voices before replying to his gentle call from the bottom of the stairs.
"No, I'm not sir; did you need me to get going now?"
"Well, I'm going to be starting on cooking something now so you have about twenty minutes."
"Thanks dad!" Sydney called quickly, looping her arms around Ben's neck and bringing his lips back to meet her own.
The thrust of his tongue into her mouth was urgent and Sydney welcomed it eagerly, opening her lips to receive his kiss without hesitation and moaning quietly in content. Ben returned his hands to the soft skin of the underside of Sydney's breasts, his thumb brushing across her distended nipple and causing her to arch her back into his touch.
"Can I take your shirt off?" Ben asked as he pulled his lips from hers, trailing them along the outline of her jaw until he was softly nibbling the lobe of her ear.
"No…just…touch me…please." She replied breathlessly, raising her hips to deliberately rub against his arousal, wordlessly elaborating on her desperate plea.
"You're sure?" He asked quietly as he threw a glance towards the open door of Sydney's bedroom, one of the terms of agreement that Dale had set when allowing Ben to be alone with her upstairs.
She followed his line of sight and groaned loudly in frustration. "No. God, I'm so sick of not having any privacy when we're here. I mean seriously why can't I have my door closed?"
"Because your dad knows we'll be doing this?" Ben suggested kindly, moving his body from on top of hers and instead lying on his back and pulling her into a firm embrace.
"Well he knows we're not sleeping together so I don't see what the issue is." She said stubbornly.
"You talk to your dad about stuff like that?"
"Who else can I talk to? None of my friends can understand because none of them have had a relationship that's as serious as ours is getting and my couins all still look at me like I'm twelve years old."
"You could talk to me." He replied quietly causing Sydney to roll to her side and look at him tenderly.
"I do talk to you…"
"I mean about our relationship and stuff. I know most of the time we're on the same page but sometimes I feel like I don't know what you're thinking and if we want the same things."
They both fell silent for a moment as they simply watched each other. "Is this about sex?" Sydney asked a moment later.
"Not entirely…all I know is that you implied you wanted to but since then we haven't…and I don't know if it's you or me but it's been nearly a month since then and…"
"Do you think we're ready?" she interrupted quickly. "And I don't mean, like, do you want to, because we both know we do. But us together and as a couple…do you think we are ready to have sex?"
"No." Ben replied shortly.
"Then why do you want to rush this? Don't you enjoy the other things we do?"
"Oh, don't ever think that Sydney. I love touching you and when you touch me and maybe we are going a bit fast…but it just seems as though I've been waiting forever to finally be with you and I don't want to wait anymore."
"I don't want to wait either but the truth is I'm scared."
He turned towards her fully when he took in her words, looping his fingers through hers and caressing the back of her hand softly with his thumb.
"I'm scared too, I mean, what if I'm no good and then you don't want to be with me anymore…or if I do it wrong?"
Sydney laughed softly and pressed a small kiss to his lips. "You know it's going to be awful when we finally do it, right?"
"Everything I've heard seems to suggest that that's true."
"I just don't want us to ruin what we have…I love everything we do together and if us having sex is going to ruin what we have at the moment then I'd rather we didn't have sex right now." Sydney blushed deeply, the warm buzz of embarrassment spreading quickly throughout her body.
"We'll wait until we're ready and if that's not for a long time then that's ok. But it won't ruin us Syd, its only sex." Ben lowered his voice and leant his head close to her ear before continuing. "I'm already in love with you…and nothing will ever change that."
"Thank you." She whispered back, pressing her lips against his softly. "And you can relax because it won't be forever! Just give us a couple more months and everything will work its way out, you'll see."
Their kiss deepened and Ben pulled Sydney's body to lay on top of his, running his hands down her back until they cupped her firm bottom, kneading the soft flesh gently as Sydney released a breathy giggle against his lips.
"Love you." She sighed softly.
"I love you too."
"Now go home!" Sydney said, moving to sit next to him on her bed before moving to her feet and watching him do the same. "You have a hard day's worth of shopping ahead of you tomorrow and I expect you to be finished by the time I finish work."
"You still haven't told me what you want for Christmas." Ben said with a smile as they descended the stairs. "And you're running out of time, it's Christmas Eve in six days."
"Well, you haven't told me what you want either." She replied with a playful pout.
"We'll look tomorrow, ok?" he said as he looped his arm around her waist and pulled her body flush against his, cupping her chin with the other and bringing their lips together for a quick kiss. "I'll see you tomorrow." He added before popping into the living room to say goodbye to her family. Upon returning to the porch Sydney threw her arms around his neck and kissed him thoroughly, releasing him again when the need for more air became apparent.
She watched Ben walk down to his car and waved with a smile as he pulled off and drove away up the street.
"Hey! Been a while since I saw you here."
Sydney turned towards the vaguely familiar voice and smiled when she recognised the young waiter whom she met a couple of months ago.
"Oh hey! I've been covering the nightshift for time-and-a-half and I'm just starting up again on my regular shifts. It's Jason, right?"
He nodded with a smile. "And you're Sydney who had a boyfriend."
"Who still has a boyfriend." She replied, continuing with the washing up.
"Point taken…" Jason said with an eye roll. "So why are you hiding back here? I thought you were a waitress?"
"I am." She replied with a small laugh. "But Dave says I have to start on the cleaning because Gina didn't show up today and he doesn't feel like doing it himself."
"He's such a dick…seriously I just watched him flirting with a customer for like ten minutes without doing any work at all."
"I guess when you're management you can get away with stuff like that." Sydney replied with a sigh. It was no secret that the younger staff all disliked Dave immensely and he was well aware of the fact that he was continuously held in their contempt, often resulting in him delegating his own responsibilities to the highly-worked and underpaid waiting staff.
Jason looked around the small kitchen area and once he was happy with the level of privacy the room afforded he turned back to address Sydney.
"So, uh, a bunch of us are going out for something to eat after our shifts today, you know, for Christmas. And I was just wondering if you wanted to come along with us? I've already checked with everyone else and you're more than welcome."
"I'm supposed to be seeing Ben after my shift ends…what time would we be eating?"
"Table's booked for six. What time do you get off?"
Sydney smiled and turned to regard Jason. "I'm all done at four, so I'll meet you guys back here at half five and we'll go, ok?"
"Sounds great…who's Ben?" Jason asked offhandedly but the tone of his voice suggested he was highly interested in the answer.
"He's my boyfriend." She replied, drying her hands on a nearby towel. "But he'll be fine with me ditching…"
They both spun on their heel to find the small, red face of Dave Smith staring at them, his hair a mess and his shirt half tucked in.
"Both of you get out here and start serving people, we're run off of our asses and the two of you are in here flirting. I don't pay either of you to have a social life, now move!"
Sydney and Jason followed the small angry man into the much larger area of the coffee shop. "Dave's not coming tonight, is he?" Sydney asked in a hushed tone.
"No…thank God." Jason replied with a wink as he settled behind the counter and welcomed a young woman with a small toddler.
Sydney set to work clearing the tables near the front of the store and chatting politely to many of the customers that she recognised. As she was wiping a small table near the window she heard a loud sigh and a dull thud as someone dropped into one of the leather armchairs behind her.
"I'll be out of your way in just a sec." she said with a half-glance behind her.
"Don't rush on my account…gotta say I love the view." The deep voice caused a smile to grow across Sydney's face.
"You shouldn't speak like that, my boyfriend will be here soon and he's a jealous one."
"So would he be jealous if he saw me doing this?" he said a moment before he ran his hand along the curve of her bottom, gripping her hips and pulling Sydney around to face him. His green eyes were gleaming as she stood between his open thighs, her hands still gripping the cloth and polish she had been using a moment ago.
"Insanely so." She replied when his hands ran from her hips to cup the firm cheeks of her bottom again, pulling her closer to his body until she was forced to sit in his lap. "You should let me go before he sees us like this." she added with a worried glance out of the window of the shop.
"Just one kiss and I'll let you go." he said with a smirk.
"I love him very much; I can't do that to him."
"Just one…he'll never have to know." He said, cupping Sydney's jaw with one hand and bringing her lips to meet his. She ran her tongue along the bottom of his lip and gently pressed it inside his mouth when his lips parted against hers a moment later.
Sydney ran her fingers through his closely cropped hair, caressing the base of his neck before quickly moving to her feet and checking that Dave was not watching how she was behaving.
"You look so cute in your little apron."
"You're here early." Sydney stated as Ben looked up at her with a smile.
"Well I was finished a lot earlier than I thought I would be so I decided to come and have a hot chocolate while you finished up here."
"So you're expecting me to wait on you, now? Chauvinist." She said with a wink before returning to the counter to order Ben's drink for him.
She returned a few minutes later with a takeout cup of hot chocolate and a frozen toffee drink for herself. "Hold on to those for a couple of minutes, I'm just going to clock out."
As she left the office a moment later Sydney ran into Jason who was smirking at her. "You're lucky Dave didn't see you just then."
"I know..." she replied quietly. "But he's one to talk; he took a woman into the office to give him a blow job the other night."
"Probably a hooker." Jason said and they both laughed at the probable assumption.
"Probably." Sydney agreed with an exaggerated eye roll. "I should go, Ben's waiting and we only have an hour."
"Right, see you soon."
"Bye." Sydney replied with a smile as she walked passed Jason and back to Ben.