Just as I was about to seal the most memorable kiss with Brad Pinsley, my alarm clock decided that it was the opportune time to scream against my eardrums, signaling the end of the blissful paradise of sleep land.
I had finally progressed after several dreams which had only involved me admiring my school’s most famous swimmer from afar… But today? Today I had been about to hit the jackpot.
I whined in annoyance at the bird-shaped noisemaker sitting on my bedside table and brought a tired hand up to slap it, quickly plopping myself back against my pillow in a bid to fall asleep and continue the saga.
Shit! Just fall asleep, Chelsy! Five more minutes! Just until you plant your lips on his!
I jerked my feet, annoyed at the fact that sleep had decided to leave me at relatively awful timing.
Damn you, clock.
I decided to give up the fight and sat upright groggily. I had lost the dream, and I was about to lose my mind when I remembered I had school.
I hated school more than anything in this world. Unfortunately, I was only seventeen and had two years left until I graduated.
I brought my hand up to scratch my head as I heard a loud knock on my door. My mother’s voice echoed through the small cracks.
“Chels?! Honey, hurry down! Your brother is about to leave!”
Yeah. I needed to leave for college to finally get away from my mother’s unwanted morning calls and my brother’s corny fifth-grade insults.
I hated working with my brother’s timing more than anything. I was dying to get my license so I could have my own car.
Unfortunately, for now, I was stuck with my big brother Max Holmes, star of the hockey team, and his best friend, Nathan Sharles.
Don’t get me wrong. If my brother were not my brother, I would have described how handsome he was.
But since he was my brother, and an annoying one at that, I just had to be okay with him having player-like looks that no girl could resist, which explained why he had a different one over every weekend.
Speaking of player, you’d think my brother was the real womanizer, but his best friend Nathan Sharles was the real deal.
The dude couldn’t keep his genitals in his pants to save a life.
Nathan was my next-door neighbor and had been a family friend since we were toddlers. I saw a lot of unwanted porn scenes and sexual images because of him and the unfortunate placement of my window, which landed me a front-row seat to his room.
I could see everything he did in that room and boy, was that unfortunate.
Nathan was cute. You know, the cliché James Dean, ripped jeans, white tees type of stuff, but he didn’t put it to positive use like being a motivational speaker or a model.
Instead, he broke girls’ hearts every day. With zero remorse.
Some girls would have gotten hearts in their eyes if they lived next door to a “hot” guy (as all the girls at Gilmore High would say) who was allergic to a shirt and listened to hardcore rock bands while attempting to dance in his mirror.
But me? I was disgusted, I was irritated, and most of all I was annoyed.
Not like I liked him or anything, but it angered me how he could change girlfriends in such short periods of time. I felt sorry for those poor girls who were thinking about forever with him.
The thing was, in movies, the girls always ended up with that guy who she hated. It’s cliché. But me? That would never happen. Why? Because that’s just eww, and it would be like crushing on a cousin or something.
Well, leave that to Vicky, who had known my brother for quite some time now.
She just couldn’t take her eyes off him. She had liked him since she was twelve, and still hadn’t gotten over it. I didn’t think she ever would, but I couldn’t judge her when I had been madly in love with Brad Pinsley since forever.
But you will hear about that soon.
Realizing I had spent all morning talking inside my head once again, I rolled out of bed and pushed my feet into my bedside slippers.
I hurried off to the bathroom in case my mother called to wake me up a second time. Super annoying.
As I got into the shower, I recalled that after a whole night of contemplation, Vicky and I had decided that we were going to tell our crushes how much we liked them. We settled on the most immature thing ever.
Writing a love letter!
The thought excited me and made me anxious at the same time as I hummed to my favorite song in the shower.
Although I had told her that my brother wouldn’t be all excited about something as immature as a letter, she still insisted. I guess she was watching too many teen movies.
I got out wearing only my towel and made my way to my room. I put on my underwear and frowned at how small they fit. I needed new underwear ASAP!
I didn’t even look fatter, but my body was saying otherwise.
I pulled a pink bra from my drawers. Up until today, I had been wearing training bras even though I was seventeen. Safe to say puberty hated both Vicky and me, so she hadn’t granted us sexy boobs, unfortunately.
At least it saved funds to buy new large bras. I decided to stick to my middle school trainers until puberty chose to give me woman tits.
Whenever that would be.
I put on tights over my underwear, reached for my bra, and put it on. My boobs peeked out a little, but oh well, I didn’t care; they wouldn’t show beneath my T-shirt. So no one would see anyway.
Guess again, Chels.
Suddenly the door pushed open. “Princess, your mom says breakfast is ready and your brother—”
I froze and flashed my gaze to see Nathan at the door, peering in at me.
Holy Mother of—
My jaw dropped and my eyes widened.
His deep blue eyes sparkled with fascination at my half-naked form standing frozen and wide-eyed in front of him.
He swallowed when his eyes fell to my bra. “Oh, sorry…”
“Get out, you pervert!!!” I screamed as my hand grabbed the first thing in reach and I threw it at him in a rage.
The pervert was so damn good at sports that he just dodged the lotion bottle effortlessly and slammed the door shut with a giggle.
Oh. My. God.
“Max!!!” I cried, stamping down the stairs angrily and stepping out onto the patio where everyone was seated, eating.
Our mornings were usually spent feasting on good home-cooked breakfasts on my patio. That was, when my mother didn’t have early morning shifts at the hospital.
She was a nurse, and despite being a very busy parent, she spent a lot of time with us.
My dad and Nathan’s dad were away on business, since they were business partners, and would not be back for another six months.
“What’s the reason for such a rage this early, sis?” Max asked as he stuffed his mouth with scrambled eggs at the table.
I spotted Nathan wearing a sly smirk while biting into a piece of toast beside Max.
His presence angered me even more. And that smirk? It wasn’t saving him one bit.
“Could you tell your walking penis of a friend to stay out of my room?!” I snarled, sitting fiercely on a chair situated right in front of the perv.
My mother, who heard the commotion, exited the kitchen holding two glasses of orange juice and made her way onto the patio.
“What is it, Chels?” she questioned, before glancing at Max, who was devouring all his breakfast.
The dude could eat.
“Do say your prayers before you eat,” she rebuked him, and he quickly closed his eyes and whispered something after already starting on his plate.
It’s great that God’s understanding.
“Mom, Nathan walked right in on me in my bra and underwear,” I busted out, my eyes darkening on him.
Nathan cleared his throat and raised a finger politely as if he was at some fancy antique auction. “Um, excuse me, Mrs. Holmes? As rude as that sounded, it is not true. She was wearing biker shorts.”
He always spoke so politely around my mother, which explained why she loved him so much and tended to take his side, but little did she know how annoying and arrogant he was. And she wouldn’t believe me when I tried to tell her.
My mother gave a small chuckle. “You were wearing shorts, Chels, no big deal.”
Did she just take his side for the hundredth time?
I hissed. “As if that makes a difference! He saw my…”
I paused, a sudden feeling of embarrassment coming over me. My cheeks heated as I recalled that I was wearing a training bra, not necessarily something I was proud of.
Maybe we could let the argument rest as my mom suggested.
I just hoped he hadn’t noticed. Oh God, I pray.
“No big deal, it’s just a training bra.” He shrugged, a smile on his lips.
So he did notice. Just. Great.
You could never get anything past this guy.
Max laughed, almost choking on his food. I wished he had, so he could shut up and not add fire to the burning flame.
“Shit, sis, it’s time you grow past trainers now, right?”
My mother frowned and put down the two glasses of orange juice in front of Nathan and Max.
Seriously? Nathan was drinking the orange juice that my mom made at my house and had the audacity to be laughing and jeering at me? Talk about daring.
“Behave, boys. Some females are late bloomers. Like myself. I didn’t wear a women’s bra until I was fifteen,” my mom said.
She was obviously trying to make the situation better but only made it worse.
Gee, Ma. Thanks.
Max laughed again. “Exactly, Mom, and Chels is seventeen. If she ain’t got them now, when is she going to get them?”
The statement made Nathan cough out all his pancake in laughter, and seeing how amused they were by that, I decided to throw in something that would have Max cramped.
I smiled devilishly as I folded my arms. “Mmm. The girl you brought home last night and slept with on Mom’s couch, was she wearing training bras?”
I patted myself inwardly.
Good one, Chels. Good one.
The comment caused Max to freeze, a guilty expression surfacing on his face. He knew how much my mom loved that couch.
My mother heard and pulled out a chair beside me, glaring rebukingly at him. “You did what?”
Nathan smiled. “Mrs. Holmes. She’s just trying to get back at him. Don’t mind that. Max and I played games the entire time yesterday. I saw no girl over.”
I darted my eyes to him, and he gave me a wink before pushing a piece of pancake in his mouth.
I knew he would cover for him.
My mom seemed content with Nathan’s excuse—as usual—and she let out a sigh of relief. “Oh. I know you wouldn’t allow him to do anything bad. Right, Nathan?”
Nathan smiled innocently as he rested a palm on his chest graciously. “Yes, Mrs. Holmes. I will ensure he behaves.”
Max had a small smirk as he gave me a victorious glance from across the table.
I rolled my eyes and looked away.
I proceeded to eat, ignoring Nathan’s blue eyes filled with humor from across the table.
He is so annoying. Ugh.
“Good morning!” Vicky pushed our gate open and jogged up onto the patio.
Vicky was my best friend, exceptionally pretty, and fun to be around.
She had brown curly hair and really small facial features, which made her look quite innocent. If Max turned her down it wouldn’t be because of looks. It would be because she was just too naive and innocent.
She grabbed a forkful of eggs from my plate and stuffed it into her mouth.
“Thank you.” She barely could pronounce the words as she chewed the food in her mouth.
Her eyes fell to Max, who was gulping his orange juice down.
Her cheeks blushed a deep red.
Vicky liked my brother a lot, but I had warned her that maybe that was not such a good idea.
My brother was two years older than us and a player. Maybe talking to Vicky would be like dating his very own sister. I doubted he would consider her in that light, but nothing beat a try.
“All done!” Max said as he got up from the table, stretching and groaning as he did.
I scrunched my face up. No table manners.
“Max, be home on time today. I am working the night shift at the hospital,” my mother told him as she drank her juice. “Be home early and stay with Chels.”
He frowned at her instruction. “Is she a kid or something?”
Nathan smiled as he pushed his chair back and stood up. His facial expression told me he was about to say some corny lame insulting comment, and I waited.
“Well, she wears a training bra, Max, so that’s pretty self-explanatory.”
And there it was.
Max laughed uncontrollably at the lame jeer Nathan had made.
Easy to see why I hated them both.
Vicky looked at me, disheartened that she had no idea what the joke was about. “Training bra?”
I fanned the question off. “It’s nothing important, ignore them, players tend to laugh at the silliest things!”
Nathan and Max stopped laughing and looked at me with small smiles, not the slightest bit offended by my comeback.
“Okay, guys, off you go!” my mother said. “Safe travels!”
“Too bad we have to ride with such inhumane jerks,” I mumbled as Vicky and I stomped off ahead.
Max’s car was at the mechanic, so we had to ride in Nathan’s. The only good thing I could say was that Nathan kept his van far more clean and comfier than Max’s Honda.
He liked vehicles and could easily fix the basic issues. He had tried helping Max out with his, but the problem was too big for him to handle so Max had taken it to the mechanic downtown.
Vicky and I rolled our eyes countless times, every time Max and Nathan slowed down to catcall some chick passing by on the sidewalk.
It irritated me so much! These guys said the exact same thing to four females in a row in the very same morning.
Who does that?! They do.
Finally, Nathan swung into the school’s parking lot, parked in the disabled spot, and switched his engine off.
Let me say for the record these boys seldom followed rules. If any at all.
“You do realize you can’t park here, right?” I asked from the backseat, being the rule keeper I sort of was.
“Shit, I need to pee!” Max cursed as he pushed the door open and got out, running off across the parking lot to the bushes behind it.
I shook my head.
Vicky smiled as Nathan unbuckled his seat belt. “Thank you, Nate.”
“You’re welcome, Vee. At least you have some courtesy,” he said, peering at us in his rearview mirror. “Unlike someone.”
I rolled my eyes, knowing perfectly well that that was aimed at me.
He had just eaten at my house; that was enough thanks for the ride. Not to mention the fact that he almost saw my titties and backside this morning. What if he had opened the door a little earlier?
I mentally groaned at how humiliating that would be.
Nathan got out and slid the backdoor open and offered an arm to Vicky. She took it graciously, and he helped her out.
I unsnapped my seatbelt and looked up just in time to see Nathan stretching his hand out to me with a smile, the dimples at the corner of his cheeks forming deep holes.
Nathan was cute. Deep blue eyes that looked quite mysterious, and as all other girls here at Gilmore High would say, sexy.
He had black hair and perfectly shaped pink lips that weren’t too thin or too plump. They were just right and perfect and tempting to kiss—
What the hell am I saying?!
I literally shook my head to shake the thoughts away.
I must be crazy!
“No thanks,” I told him flatly. “I can get out on my own.”
He shrugged, choosing not to debate, and stepped aside, granting me space to get out.
I hopped out onto my feet, my ankle twisting at the force I landed with, and I almost fell. Luckily I was caught before that and pulled against a sturdy chest. When I noticed Nathan’s hands holding my arm tightly, I looked up at him.
His eyes looked into mine, and for the first time since I had known Nathan, I noticed how mysterious they really were.
Wow. Why haven’t I seen that before?
Badum. ~Badum. Badum.~
Shit. Whose heart is that?
He smirked. “Are you okay, Princess?”
It was my heart! I was nervous! But around…Nathan?
Holy Mother of—
I moved away quickly. “Y-yes.”
Shit! I stuttered! Fucking hell.
He chuckled a little at my awkward agitation. “Okay,” was his simple response as he turned away, pulled at the door, and slammed it shut.
“You ready, Nate?” Max asked as he approached our side, fixing his belt after spraying his waste on the school’s ballfield at the back.
“Yeah,” Nathan replied, jamming his hands in his denim jeans’ pockets.
“See you after school, little sis.” Max gave me a warm smile, and I forced one, still not entirely fine with him choosing to tease me along with his perverted friend this morning.
A girl’s voice prompted our heads to turn to see Elizabeth, a.k.a. Lizzy, running up and pushing her lips onto Nathan’s, French-kissing him eagerly as if her life depended on it.
The sight made Vicky and I scrunch our faces up in disgust.
“Eww,” I mumbled. “Porn so early in the morning…”
And to think I was just blushing when he touched me! I must have been crazy. Well, this was all I needed to snap back to reality.
Nathan’s girlfriend was Elizabeth Jane.
Well, one of his girlfriends.
He had too many, and whenever I was in my room being academically productive, he would always have another girl in his room.
Wow, he should get awarded for that really.
Vicky gripped my arm and pulled me aside. “Chels, when do you think I should give Max my letter?”
I swallowed. “Uh…”
I felt super bad for Vicky. Max really was not a great option. But hey, who was I to burst her bubble like that.
I scratched my head. “Let’s head to class first, then we will think about it after.”
I sat in history class daydreaming about Brad Pinsley while the teacher, Mr. Jones, spoke about the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte.
But the only name I could think of was Brad.
Brad and Brad.
I couldn’t wait until class ended to give the letter to him, and I hoped he would reciprocate my feelings.
Brad was a senior like Max and Nathan and two years older than Vicky and me.
I was not sure if Brad had the same preference as my brother in terms of interest in only girls his age, but I was willing to try…
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