This is part three of Founded Dreams! I had a good time writing this, though it was a bit harder than the first two parts. Ignore that the Lanark analysis is absolute bullshit and please enjoy!


My eyes open sleepily, pupils sliding around in their puffy slits to the face of my electric alarm clock. Six twenty-three am. Just minutes before my first alarm. Yanking up my feather down comforter, I roll over and sigh, allowing sleep to fold lightly over me until the inevitable shrieking pierces any façade of rest I am attempting to maintain.

Seconds after I press the snooze button and curl into my blankets longingly, my mom is at the door with her ruthless orderly voice. "Get up Jer, this is school just like any other day and I know you're not sick." She taps my doorframe. "So get your ass up and out of that bed."

I groan, pushing a hand through my hair. "Where's Hannah?"

"Hannah's left for early morning—"

"No!" I shout, swinging up in bed. My mom eyes me in confusion, before pushing off my doorframe. "Well, that's what I wanted to see. Get ready quick so you can eat before we have to leave."

As soon as she's gone, I stand up and start pacing. "Fuck," I hiss. Last night my hair looked like I poured half-melted rust into it, and it can't be any better. Blue, even blue would be preferable to the sandy orange color I'm sporting at the moment. Groaning to myself, I step over to the bathroom, half covering my eyes so that the shock can ease through my system gradually.

When I get to the vanity mirror, however, my hand drops away almost immediately.

I gape at my reflection for a few disbelieving seconds, before I turn around and all but take the shower door off its hinges as I open it. The tile near the drain is pristine white, but that doesn't mean anything. I exit the bathroom, all but tripping over my feat every step, and crash through my sister's door, making my way to her vanity. And there they are, the disorganized array of bottles, the bleach, the shaken bottle of vibrant blue dye my sister must have prepared last night before falling asleep. I sit down in her modified stylist's chair and stare closely at myself.

It's impossible, completely. I grab a lock of my black hair, flicking on the mirror lights to reveal the deep cherry accents. I remember it distinctly, Hannah's hands moving through my hair, her excitement, the heat of the shower, the—

The dream.

I bite my lip. No, I can tell the difference between dreams and reality, even…those dreams. I was a gross redhead, I tried to get my sister up to finish the dye job, but she was asleep, which is why this bottle of blue dye is in front of my face. It was all real. It is.

My brows press together, and my heart tears into a stronger rhythm, pumping blood and adrenaline at an unnecessary speed. "Jeremy!" my mom shouts, "Are you up?" I drop my eyes from the mirror, scan the countertop and find my sister's pair of hair-cutting scissors. Panting, I reach out and pick them up in my hand, holding them in front of my face, appraising them. Hair, just hair. It's fragile. It can't just survive a bleach job unscathed. The edge of the scissors flash in response to the mirror. Physics are physics. This is just a sharp blade. This is just hair. I tug down a lock, pull it straight, set the open scissors to it.

Cold metal slashes my cheek. Yelping in pain, I instantly lose my grip on the scissors and they drop from my hand to clatter to the counter, blood beading up along the light slash. As strands of my uncut bangs catch at the thickening blood, I breathe out shakily, eyes dropping back to the scissors, lying on the counter innocent, open, daring me.

Halfway to tears, I stand up abruptly from the vanity and walk back to my room to get dressed for school.


"Hey," Rikki whispers over to me. I force my eyes from the clock and turn to him.

"What?" I whisper back.

He stabs his left cheek and lifts his brows inquisitively in a primitive attempt at communication that usually attracts more attention than not in a classroom. I roll my eyes, tear out a piece of paper, fold it up, and write out the word,

what?

Rikki takes the note and scribbles down, u wipe out on ur bike?

no dumbass stabbed myself with some scissors

oh

Mystery finalized, Rikki mouths,

New hair?

I nod, roll my eyes again, and form my hand into a gun against my head before pulling the trigger. Rikki laughs.

As soon as my friend's satisfied with our exchange, I look down to my desk and nervously scratch at a mysterious sticky spot on my desk. Mrs. Yann is talking about themes in novels, which I usually really like, but my eyes can't help but tug back to the clock, watching the second hand wind around in a sinuous circular motion. Last night, all of it…it all seemed so distinct. But that…of course...includes that weird light I saw in the shower. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks with me, but I really don't know. I bite my lip.

And that dream afterwards…that had obviously been a dream, a dream I woke up from and everything, almost drowned. And then I fell asleep in my sister's bed without meaning to…

And woke up in my own. I sigh, brows lowering. Nothing is adding up. But really, just a little weird light, reoccurring dreams, dropping a pair of scissors…none of it really means anything.

I really need to get some serious sleep before paranoia kills me.

"Does anyone have any ideas what this might imply, considering the theme of continuous disorientation between these parallel realities?"

I look up to the front of the classroom and watch Mrs. Yann move around her desk the way she does when she wants our attention. Slow circular motions in a pair of worn heels. "In this case, it is not so much the protagonist, but the reader who suffers this confusion. Lanark navigates us through these levels of reality." She has that voice on that's saying this is important, so I scribble down a few notes, figuring this is something she'll test us on.

Reader disorientated between levels of reality –protagonist navigates.

My eyes move to her feet, watching the individual presses of each heel into the carpet, over and over. Ricky whispers, "She's the confused one. This book makes no fucking sense. Don't know why it's published."

"It's a good book," I whisper back, still tracking the movement of those shoes.

"So why this confusion? Why does the author put it on us when we are supposed to be the ones reading it? Understanding it? There is a pivotal purpose that appears especially towards the end of the book."

Pivotal purpose to confusion

"When Gray puts himself in the story as Nastler, he is taking this disorientation full circle, pulling the reader through deeper and deeper levels until we are at both clarity and the fullest confusion. He is injecting his own reality into the work."

Author is injecting his own realit

I drop my pencil.

He steps towards me, book open in his hand, bare feet coming down the aisle, individual toes flexing against the floor at each step. "What do you think this means?" he asks, smiling as he leans over my desk and touches my cheek, eyes lit with mischief.

I blink, and Mrs. Yann is staring down at me with a look of concern. "Jeremy, are you feeling alright?"

I swallow, breathing in and out with a few shaky breaths before nodding. "Uh, yeah."

"Alright," she says, squinting her eyes uncertainly, before standing up and turning around, heading back to the front. "So, everyone, what do you think this means?"

I breathe out, feeling Rikky's eyes on me, write in small letters on a corner of my notes, I think I'm going crazy, look over to Rikky, shrug my shoulders with a grin, and scratch it out.


As I am getting my things off the desk and putting them in my bag after class is out, Mrs. Yann comes up to me. "Mind staying after a few minutes?" she asks. Rikki gives me a sideways glance, and eyeing him back with raised eyebrows, I answer,

"Sure, yeah."

"I'll write you a slip if you're late to class."

"Okay," I say, before turning back to Rikki. "Hey, you should come to book club today, alright?"

He looks at me with a quizzical expression as Mrs. Yann returns to her desk. "Tell me what she says, okay?"

I nod my head. "Yeah, sure whatever."

When the room is empty, Mrs. Yann clears her throat. "Jeremy, I've noticed you've been unfocused lately. Is…something happening at home?"

"Huh?" I respond, brows pressing together. "No."

She leans against her desk, her wide glasses-encased eyes framed by greying brown hair. "Jeremy, you are always so attentive, so smart. You really lend yourself to the classroom and help bring it to life."

"Um, thanks. I just really like English I guess."

She smiles. "Yes. But then why have you struggled so much recently? I haven't heard a proper comment from you since a couple months ago, and your grades are slipping. I know I don't have to remind you that it's nearing the end of the semester…"

"Yeah, I'm sorry, I've just…" I sigh "I've just been having trouble sleeping is all."

Mrs. Yann pinches her lips together and looks to a stack of papers to her left, picking them up. "I don't want to give my brightest student a bad grade, alright Jeremy? Please focus, and if there's… anything else, you can always talk to me."

"Thanks, Mrs. Yann," I respond, getting up. "I'll try harder, I promise."

She nods. "I hope so."


"I think she thinks someone is beating me or something," I explain rolling my eyes. "Is anything going on at home. I fall asleep a few times in class and she just jumps to conclusions."

"Something going on at home doesn't mean beating…necessarily," Rikki replies, tossing his bangs. "But you know, you really have been sleeping in class…like a lot. And you never really hang out anymore. Is anything going down?"

"No," I say, brows crunching up in a look of disbelief. Him too? "Just a lot's been on my mind is all."

"Well, what the hell was that in English today? You looked like you saw death come down on you or something. She was right to be worried."

I elbow Rikky in the ribs. "Shut up. I just zoned out. Not my fault if I have a weird zone-out expression."

"Yeah, sure…well are we going to this stupid book club thing or not?" Brown eyes look to me through strands off flattened hair. I'm about to answer back with something snarky, but then just look down and kick at the ground with my shoe.

"…Nah, let's go get milkshakes or something."

"Hah!" Rikky exclaims, putting his arm around my shoulder and leaning toward me. "Something is wrong. I knew it."

"Nothing's wrong," I defend myself, pulling away from him. "I'm just kind of tired."

"Yeah just. You've been saying that all day. I call bullshit. What's up?"

I groan. "You'll frickin' laugh at me."

"Doesn't change the fact that we're friends."

"Shut up. Okay. We'll go somewhere, and I might tell you." Yeah. Like I could even tell him everything if I did.

We end up walking to the Dairy Queen near school where I spoon around the vanilla ice cream in my cup for a solid five minutes before Rikky interrupts the silence,

"Sooo." He puts a spoonful of chocolate-vanilla swirl in his mouth, arching a brow. "Care to tell me what the deal is?"

I look down. Will he think I'm insane? No, no I have to leave those parts out…somehow… I've just been dreaming is all. And that's…true. But there's something about these dreams, something about how they've been there almost every night the past few months, about how real they are, about how they're invading my space, getting too deep in my head. When I bleached my hair, hadn't that been a victory? And with the scissors… A victory against what? Him? A figment of my imagination? Isn't that crazy?

Rikky waves a hand in front of my face. "Dude, chill. I won't judge. Promise."

I raise my eyes to his, expression uncertain, guarded. Just the dreams. Start with that. Reoccurring dreams. That's not too weird. I open my mouth.

"I think I might be gay."

His eyes go wide with surprise, and so do mine.

"Oh…" he says, licking his lips. I jam a spoonful of ice-cream into my mouth, hardly breathing as I stare ahead in horror. "You know…it's okay. Just kind of unexpected."

I blink, on the verge of hyperventilating. Rikky turns his eyes to the side awkwardly. "Sooo…uh, what made you realize?"

"Nothing," I gasp, grinding my spoon into the bottom of my cup. I invest my gaze into my melting ice-cream, blushing deeply. "I don't even know why I said that."

"Well…I'm glad you told me. Since we're friends. If you ever have…boy troubles…you know." I look up in alarm and Rikky grins, tossing his hair out of his face. "I'm here for you."

"No," I protest, shaking my head. "I mean, I'm not even…" I exhale heavily, pushing a hand into my hair and grabbing onto it. "I don't know."

"Hey, it's alright," he assures me, reaching over the table and patting my shoulder. "Wanna get some fries or something? Talk more about it?"

I shrug. "There's not really anything to talk about." He gets up anyway, and I grip my spoon tightly. "Listen, I—" He pauses, awaiting my words with a serious edge to his expression, something uncommon in Rikky. I blush again and grab my desolated cup of what is now closer to milk than ice-cream, and extend my arm. "Can you throw this away for me?"

"Sure. I'll be right back."

When he steps away, I stare down at the table in shock. Brows pinch together and my left canine starts working nervously at my lower lip. A confession? That had been the furthest thing from my mind. Well, not the furthest… I swallow. But definitely pretty far. My hands tremble as I wrap them around my biceps. What is wrong with me? I'm not even...probably not…there's no way I'm…

"Here." A hand sticks out in front of my face with three little cups of ketchup. "Grab these." I pick up each one and place them on the table as Rikky puts down a tray with a huge thing of fries spilling out all over it. He grabs a cup of soda that's taking up a corner of the tray, takes a drink, and slides it to me. "Cherry coke."

I take the soda like a wounded animal accepting medicine, and take a small sip. I really don't want to be here anymore. Not after this. I've fucked up big time, somehow.

"So, how'd you find out?" he asks again, putting a fry into the ketchup. "Is there someone you like at school? Or did you figure it out on your own?"

"I'm…really confused," I admit, pressing my hand to my eyes.

"Don't you think you're taking this too hard?" he asks me, his arm tight around my shoulders. I look down at my hands uncomfortably from where I'm settled against his chest. "I mean, didn't you already know? Why is it hitting you so hard?" He reaches into my lap, presses his palm against my erection. "Doesn't this feel good? What's so bad about that, hm?" Lips press against the side of my head. "Just accept it and everything will be so much easier." He pulls up on my erection, then slides his hand into my pants.

"I can't," I tell him, trembling. "I won't let you, not again."

"Yeah, you've gotten good, haven't you? At stopping me. But you're breaking."

"I am not!" I shout, attempting to force my way out of his arms. He strokes my erection faster, and there's his, thick against my back.

"You want it," he whispers into my ear. "Admit it."

"NO," I refuse him, struggling against him. He accommodates my squirming easily, leaning forward and dropping me out of his lap before bending over me, stroking his cock between my cheeks as he jacks me off.

"I make you feel so good. And soon I'll be able to make you feel even better."

"You…will not," I choke. His hand around me tightens. I gasp. So good.

"You'll see," he says, and with a final stroke over the head of my dick, I cum all over his hand.


"Hey!" I blink slowly, shift uncomfortably in my jeans. Fingers snap in my face. "Hey!"

I look up to Rikky, who has his phone in his hand and an urgent look on his face. "What the fuck was that?" he demands immediately.

"Huh?"

"You just passed out out of nowhere. For over a minute. I was about to call your mom. Or the fucking ambulance."

"I…" I push my hands down against the wet crotch of my pants, and my face goes pale. "Fuck."

"This…this is like narcolepsy. That thing where you just fall asleep randomly, you know? Jeremy, this isn't good…"

"Narcolepsy," I repeat, sweat dampening my armpits as I wipe pointlessly at the spot on my jeans that I know is there. I nod. "Yeah, I'm going home."

Rikky's brows twist with concern. "You can't just leave like this. Narcolepsy is serious. What if you fall asleep in the middle of the crosswalk?"

"See you." I slide out of the booth and quickly turn around, pulling down my sweatshirt as far as possible. Hands sweating, I go to the door, failing to open it with slippery fingers as my other hand struggles to keep the stain covered. Someone comes up behind me, pushes the door open. I turn around. "Rikky, I don't need—"

My words stutter to an end as I look up to his face. Dark hair and conniving, red eyes. I blink and it's just some old guy with a fast food bag in his hand, urging me to keep walking with an irritated grimace. Looking back into the restaurant, Rikki is eyeing me with concern. Sweat gathering in my palms, I duck out of the door.

Once I pick up my bike from the rack at school, I swing my leg over and ride at a dangerous speed down the sidewalk, alarming several drivers as I skid through the streets. I make it home in almost half the time, panting and sweating. I fail to lock my bike up, and simply throw it to the grass near the railing before heading inside the house. It's only when I make the familiar motion of lowering one of my shoulders that I realize I left my backpack with Rikki. Not like I can talk to him right now, after what happened back there. I think I might be gay. Where did that come from?

My sister comes into the living room, eyes me strangely. "You just run a marathon or something?" she asked me. "Also where's you backpack?"

"Last night," I say, adding to my sister's confusion. "My hair, remember?"

"Your…hair?" she asks me, brow quirking. "Yeah, what about it? I'm not taking it out you know, it looks good."

I exhaled swiftly, expression desperate. "No, but I said you could make it bl—"

A girl walks out of the hallway and into the living room, pushing a brush back through her neon blue hair as she moves to Hannah's side.

"Well, it's a little more vibrant than I expected," the girl admits, pushing her bangs around. "But I think I like it."

"It'll tone down a bit," Hannah assures her. "Just take a couple more showers and it'll look like the box."

I view the exchange with complete confusion, looking from the blue hair to my sister. "But—" I interrupt them.

"Alice, this is my little brother Jeremy." Hannah gestures for me to come closer, and I take a few apprehensive steps, tugging my jacket down. "What do you think about his hair? I did a good job, huh?"

The girl nods. "I would've brought the red out more personally, but that's just my opinion."

I step away as they start talking beauty school shit, my feet taking down the hall to my room where I lock myself in and sit on my bed.

I don't even know what to think. Or how to breathe properly. I just want to hide, make this all go away, but I really don't know how to do that. Narcolepsy, hallucinations…none of these are good things. I turn on my TV, but I can only think about one thing, think about how I'm falling apart for some reason that is completely out of my hands, and it's not going to be long before I go actually crazy, right? My hands press to either side of my head. Is my mind attacking me? Or… I shake my head, watching the world swing back and forth in my eyes. No. If I start thinking things like this I'll fucking lose it. My main priority is staying in control. Somehow.

My gaze turns back to the TV, tired eyes pulling the picture apart into bubbles of color. After pushing myself through countless reruns and messing around youtube on my phone, I'm startled in the middle of The worst cover EVER! by my phone going off. Pushing my thumbs around my phone haphazardly, I pick up the call.

"Did you get home alright?" a voice asks me, and I pause in fear. That voice. His voice. How is he calling me?

"I-I-I—"

"I know it was hours ago, but you seemed upset so I thought maybe I should leave you alone."

"How did you get this number!" I shriek into the phone, lowering my voice last-second with a look to the door. "How?" I beg, trembling.

"Jeremy?" he asks, sounding hurt.

"Jeremy!" My mother calls from the door, knocking on it. I end the call immediately. "Hurry and grab yourself some dinner. Dad's working late tonight, so—"

"N-not hungry," I reply as clearly as I can, still shaking.

"Okay, well it'll be in the fridge when you are," she says. "Finish up whatever you're doing and get to the kitchen."

I acknowledge her before going back to my phone, pulling up my recent calls. But all there is at the top is Rikki's number. I scroll through the list, confused, before tapping the contact.

"Jeremy…?"

"Hey, uh," I begin, "Did you just call me…maybe?"

"Yeah," he answers in a cautious tone. "What's going on? Really?"

I sigh out, brows coming down and forehead falling against my hand. "I don't…I don't know."

"Do you want me to come over?"

For a moment I'm about to say yes, but then I remember the scene at the restaurant and I know I can't risk it. My mouth opens to form some sort of logical excuse, but every word I start to say is quickly declined, swallowed. My head throbs lightly, the TV flashes garishly in my peripheral, and then my hand just closes on the phone, finger incidentally brushing the end button and closing the call. I'm about to call back, but then my head pounds again, and it's so much easier not to come up with an excuse anyway. My eyes return to the screen, to the characters from some show I've never seen running around and arguing, and my eyes ache. I grab the remote and turn down the brightness.

"Don't follow me!" the words crackle from the little speakers, and I sigh, massaging my fingers into my aching temple and squinting dry eyes. "You may be the most gorgeous guy I've ever met, but I'm not the kind of girl who can be bought off by…cheap looks!" The girl waves her glass of champagne around, spilling nearly half of it on the floor as she staggers forward. I wouldn't have the heart to laugh even if it really was funny.

"You think that's all I have to offer you?" the man asks, clean-cut in his suit and tie. "Dana, you're not thinking. How have you not realized what a serious problem that is?"

She turns around, loses her glass on some person's head and grabs up another one like it didn't happen. The laugh track breaks into candy wrapper laughter, almost blowing out the pathetic built-in speaker system.

"You think—I have a serious problem!" More champagne splatters onto the floor, narrowly missing an old lady's dress. "Well I think you're a nutcase! Just a gorgeous, refined, wealthy—"

Arms hold out on cue to catch the sloshed woman right before she drops onto the floor from staring into the guy's eyes too long. Or something equally stupid. Big gaudy lashes blink exaggeratedly, and the laugh track goes again. I wince.

"Josh," she gasps in surprise, "I think I may have fallen for you."

"Oh how sweet." He smiles up at me mockingly, hands dropping onto my thighs.

I shout and jerk away, only to land on my back alone, TV buzzing softly in the background. My eyes cast about the room, dropping to the remote. Hastily I pick it up, fingers fumbling over the power button until the screen zaps out. And then it's nothing but me and the still air, charged silence echoing menacingly around me. My head pounds, and I realize I can't just sit and wait here.

My feet swing over the side of the bed and drop to the floor.

Shoes jam with my feet, enclosing my toes painfully, but the fact that they're on wrong isn't relevant as I take myself out of my room. Breathing shakily, I half-run down the stairs, and make my way to front door. Unlatching the fingers of my right hand where they've clawed around the opposite bicep, I put them around the knob and begin to turn it.

"Hey." Hannah's voice. "If you think you're skipping out of dishes to go to Ricky's—"

I yank the door open, cold air chilling my skin.

"Hey!" my sister shouts from behind me. "Where are you—"

"Going for a walk," I reply shortly, before shutting the door back over her.

I can't lose focus, I can't. He'll just slip in and…do something…and whether he's a figment of my imagination or not, that's still not a good thing. My gaze flicks down to the stiff patch at the crotch of my pants, but there's no time to fix that. I tug down my sweater and start down the sidewalk, breath huffing out in nervous patterns.

As I set to walking, maybe a little quicker than looks normal, the occasional people who pass by me shoot curious looks my way, brows twisting and bodies pulling subtly away. I wish I could just go to Ricky's house and let my best friend know why I'm like this, why I'm stumbling forward with my shoes backwards, why I'm hiding underneath my jacket, why I'm breathing so fast, why my feet won't stop. This isn't my fault, not really, and as soon as I get this done with I'll be right back to normal, but the judgmental grimaces don't reassure me. I huddle deeper into my jacket, think about fixing my shoes, but staying still feels like giving up, so I just keep walking.

I couldn't tell Ricky anyway. I couldn't. Because honestly I don't know when this is going to be over. It's my shoes now, but what will it be next?

"Yes what will it be?" That mouth smiles, and even though I start away, his hands find me, grab me by the shoulders. His brow quirks. "Are you going to keep avoiding me, or are you—"

I'm frozen, one hand clutching to the branch of a tree when the world comes back to me. I look around quickly, sweat slipping down my back. Shivering, I pull down my jacket, my erection luckily defusing out of fear—

"Now that's not very polite." His words growl into my ear, and I increase my pace, eyes blown with terror, body heaving with it. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm running away from the eyes on me just as much as I'm running away from him. I yank down on my sweater, violently, as my head pounds with my accelerated heartbeat.

"No," I pant, shaking my head. "No."

"…what is he…"

"…his shoes…"

"…drugs…"

My foot crunches down on a curled leaf. I'm sweeping my gaze around in paranoia, panicking at the sight of each pair of feet coming toward me down the street.

"You could end this," he tells me, taking slow, easy steps, approaching me almost casually. I shudder, tears building up in my eyes. "You're the only one who's being difficult."

"No," I whimper, hand clutching at the hem of my hoodie. "No, stop it. Stop it."

"Maybe I will." His breath hits my face. "Maybe I won't."

I shock forward, tears streaking down my face that I dash away anxiously. A girl, coming down the path with her friend. I shift my eyes away quickly, but then something about her catches my attention again. I look up. Red hair, short skirt. Isn't she from school? I swallow, dropping my head. What if she sees me? What will she say? I thought only Ricky and I lived—

Lockers bang around me, and I trip backwards on the tile, hand slamming over my mouth to cover up a bent cry. What? What is—

A hand slaps my shoulder, and I swivel around to see Ricky, assessing me with raised eyebrows.

"Well, I guess that's one way to make a fashion statement." He flips his bangs out of his face, sliding his hands into his tight pockets. "Maaaybe could do something about the shoes."

I hastily kick off my sneakers and shove the right feet into them. Panic washes across my face when a girl from my English class steps down the hall, throwing back her waves of red hair. Ricky blinks back at her, and the cast of blue eyes travels to me and then quickly away with a light smirk of her mouth. "Well, better get to class."

I jolt in surprise. "No," I protest. "I'm…I need to go get some different clothes. Let's just—"

"Yeah, I wouldn't," my friend says with a disbelieving grin. "Oral exams today? You know?"

"No," I beg, dropping my face into my hands. "No, I can't, I'll—"

I drop to my knees, crying. "Just stop," I gasp. "Just stoppit…"

Arms wrap around my waist. "You know what I want." An erection grinds at my back. "Bend over."

"No!" I shout, gripping the…notes I have in my hand. My face shoots up, and I gape from where I'm in the center of the classroom, laughter bubbling softly around me. My teacher tilts her head.

"I…see," Mrs. Yann says delicately. "Well, maybe we can try again. Do you—"

"—want me to get mad?" he asks me, fingers tracing down my naked back. "I will, you know. And you know what I mean." My shoulders shake, my fingers grip the pillow, and I press my forehead against it, mussing my sweaty hair.

"I don't," I plead, a tremor going down my spine, spiking in my cock. "I can't. Please."

His tongue presses wetly into the small of my back, teeth catching lightly at my skin. "Mmm, but you want to…"

"Popping wood in class again?" Ricky asks with a laugh. "Seriously dude, you need to get that under control."

I jerk my head up from my desk.

"What—" I look down suddenly at the unfortunate evidence and hurriedly cross my legs. For a moment, I'm actually jealous of those tight pants hugging Ricky's crotch as I maneuver myself around in attempt to hide my clear erection. "The oral exam, did I…"

"You seriously need to get laid," my friend interrupts with a laugh, and my eyes flare. "Shut up," I hiss, anxiously biting at my lip as I flick my eyes over to the other people in class. "They'll hear…"

"But it's true, isn't it?" He turns around from where he's at the front of a classroom, that book in his hands again. I gulp, pressing flush against the back of my chair and crossing my legs tighter. Like that will help me. Maybe I should run. He steps forward, feet bare like usual, and it's hard to decide if he's really wearing clothes or not. They just always seem to conveniently disappear…

I gasp as I look down again and realize I am completely naked in the middle of class. I grab Ricky's shoulder, my brows clashing desperately. "Your jacket," I beg. "Lend me your—"

"C'mon," he laughs softly, coming right up to the edge of my desk. I throw up my knees swiftly, wrapping my arms around them and ducking my head. Maybe…maybe if I don't look… "Avoiding me will just make things worse for you," he chides, fingers slithering over my shoulder. "You can only pretend for so long."

I shudder, tears welling up in my eyes again. "No," I cry. "No, no, get out, why are you here…"

"Do you want me to embarrass you in front of your classmates even more?" I sob against my knees as the eyes of all of the other students bore into my back. Lips brush close to my ear. "I will bend you over the table," he threatens in a sharp whisper. "And make you cum so hard you won't be able to look your friend in the eyes again."

"Why," I whimper through tears. "Why are you doing this to me?"

His hand clutches my far shoulder. "You are mine. It's inevitable." I go still with fear, though I can't stop the tears streaking down my face. "Give in now," his words seem to crawl into my ears, unbidden, and I slap my hands over them, but his voice is still harsh, distinct, "or I will pull you through more hell than you could ever imagine. Games are over, Jeremy."

"Wh-why—"

"Now."

My nails dig into my scalp. "Why—!"

A hand jerks up my face by the chin, and through my tears I am forced to meet those violent red eyes, dark with anger. My entire body quivers with terror and something akin to…anticipation. I shrink back…

"Wright!" a loud voice shouts, and I flinch at the noise, only to be thrown off by the abrupt change of scenery. I look down, at the football held underneath my arm, at the grass beneath my mud-stained shoes. My brows wrinkle. I look over to the field goal, to the thick white line, painted across the lawn, just a yard away from where my feet are, maybe less. But I don't play football, I never have, and even if I wanted to I've never been fast—

I am abruptly thrown down by an arm slamming down on my back, a much stronger body tossing me on my face across the wet grass. I catch my lip on a rock, tasting blood as it bubbles into my mouth. My head rings with disorientation, and with a slow movement, I wipe a hand down my split lip and warily bring up my eyes.

His face and his mud-streaked shoulder pads immediately eclipse my vision. I rear back as he reaches his hand toward me, wincing when the pad of his thumb presses against the slice across my mouth.

"See what I told you?" he says, caressing his hand over my forehead, into my hair. I exhale heavily, eyes flickering with fear. Carefully, he reaches down to grab at the football beneath my arm, but I tighten my grip around it possessively, pulling back and wrapping my other arm around it. "No, no," he chides, putting his hand on the fake leather. "You don't get this anymore."

"You…can't," I say, uncertain at my own words as I tuck the ball further back and slide away. My brows crash together as he smirks and crawls toward me, hand lifting at the last moment to catch my shoulder.

"You just want to keep all the nice things, don't you?" he asks, tugging at the ball. "You even want how I make you feel, but…" I freeze as he leans into me. "Guess where they came from?" He yanks the football away from me, and I groan. "Guess where this came from?" The fingers on my shoulder drift up my neck, nails dragging over my lip. "And this?" I gasp a little, pain and pleasure mixing briefly before he pulls away from me.

A cutting silence sits between us, before I at last say, "Why can't you just lea—"

"The same questions," he interrupts. "But as many times as you ask them, I'll still see through you." Two hands press against my suddenly naked thighs, and the cold wetness of grass seeps into my skin, along with the fear.

"So," he asks. "Do you want me to get mad?"

I shake my head slowly, throat choked with fear. "No," I whimper. "No I don't."

He smiles, a malevolent quirk of his lips, and leans towards me.

"Good choice," he whispers into my ear.


I would love to hear your theories on what's going on! Please review! (: