Alexander Cummings (the slightly lonely gay guy)

Alphonse Butterman (the angry bully)

Declan Easom (the delinquent)

Dominic Tate (the popular nice guy)

Emma Delacroix (the number one horse girl)

Elijah W. Farnham (the popular jerk)

Gwendolyn Hawkridge (the number two horse girl)

Gina Haberly (the girl Alexander kissed way back when)

Leyla Meziani (the best friend and underdog)

Mary-Jane Kenwood (the popular bombshell)

DECLAN POV - Half past nine on the evening of the long-awaited school festival.

A few things are happening at once when Declan finally opens his eyes. Alphonse Butterman is pacing a hole in the tiled floor. He has that look on his face : raw, constipated worry, mixed in with the urge to fight or flight. Mary-Jane Kenwood sits on a chair in the corner, one leg swung over the other with arms tightly crossed. She looks angry for some reason. Next to her sits an exhausted-looking Alexander, eyes closed and lips clenched, messy hair covering his sweaty forehead. He breathes in heavily, then breathes out; looking up not at Declan but at Dominic Tate, perched on the windowsill, his back stiff and his eyes cold.

Declan stirs and Dominic swiftly turns his head, just as Leyla enters the room with an armful of snacks.

She chews and pops a bubble of gum. "The nurse said to get out."

"Not before he wakes up", Alphonse states, determined.

"He's awake", breathes Alexander, his voice a bit hoarse, lashes fluttering delicately under the hospital lighting. The latter could be a trick of the eye, Declan doesn't know or care. He looks at Alexander and feels that familiar twitch in his gut, a feeling that races up and down his spine and settles in his belly, hot, sweet and secret, like what he imagines real love tastes like : stuttering warmth, unsettling as well as delicious; everything at once and a soothing feeling, but one that raises the small hairs on his neck.

When Declan breathes and looks into Alexander's eyes, he feels the urge to touch. And that doesn't scare him at all.

a/n : Thanks for the sweet support! I'm currently on holiday, so I'll try to finish the next chapter by the end of next week!