Chapter Twelve ~ Irritation and Lasagna
“What are you guys doing?” asked Tony.
I stared at him in disbelief. Like what Chris and I were doing wasn’t obvious. I mean, really?
“Nothing,” I decided to say, however, “He made fun of me so I chased him.”
Wait…rolling on the ground and almost kissing wasn’t exactly what you call chasing…
I looked around the soccer field, deciding to avoid the annoyed gaze I could feel coming from Tony, and was glad to find the place completely deserted…..excluding the three of us, of course.
Wait. Was that a camera on that bench? What the hell was it doing there? Yeah, whatever with that.
At least no-one else saw Chris and I…..Chris and I….Oh my God.
Holy hell. What have we been doing? Please don’t tell that I just…almost kissed Chris. No wait.
Chris Hunter was about to kiss me. OH MY GOD.
Flushing, I brought my hands up to my face to hide in embarrassment.
“Yeah, definitely looked like you were chasing him,” snorted Tony. I peeked at him through my fingers in time to see him roll his eyes and glare at Chris.
I dropped my hands and risked a glance at Chris, expecting him to man up and glare back. I mean, come on, it’s every girls’ dream to have two hot guys fight for her…can you really blame me? But when I saw Chris’s expression, I was totally confused and not to mention…sort of hurt.
He had on a blank expression as though Tony had just walked in on us discussing the goddamn length and breadth of the soccer field.
“What are you doing here?” Chris asked, voice light and devoid of any emotion. The hurt rose a bit and then I felt a flicker of anger.
Didn’t he feel annoyed or irritated that we were interrupted?
“I came to get Keith’s camera which he forgot on that bench,” Tony pointed at the bench I had noticed earlier. “But what do you know? I got rewarded with…this,” Tony waved his hand towards Chris and I, sounding more irritated than amused.
“Sorry. You won’t catch us doing that again,” I muttered, looking at Chris, hoping he would man up and argue or something. Imagine my utter disappointment when he spoke again.
“Yeah, we won’t be doing this again,” Chris muttered, nodding once in my direction without even meeting my eyes, before turning and walking away.
My heart sunk in disappointment.
We won’t be doing this again.
Did he really mean that? I mean, I don’t want him not to do it…..wait. Who was I kidding? This was Chris Hunter, the next generation of Casanova. A player who leaves a trail of broken hearts all over the place. No way am I going to fall for him.
It’s just a crush. I’ll get over him soon….But still.
“How’re you feeling? And why were you running when you were supposedly released from the infirmary….wait.” Tony’s smile disappeared and his eyes widened. “You didn’t sneak out, right?”
I laughed, trying to get Chris out of my head. Not really working.
“Tony! Of course I didn’t sneak out! I’m not that bad,” I complained, glaring at him teasingly.
“Oh good.” Tony said, breathing out in relief. “Wait here for a moment, will you?”
As I nodded, Tony turned and jogged off to get Keith or whoever that person’s camera was. My heart fluttered a bit as Tony reached me and gave me a cute smile.
But….it wasn’t like the effects Chris had on me. And suddenly I wondered, did I even have a slight effect on him at all?
“Eek! Tony, don’t poke it!” I shrieked, hitting Tony’s arm as he tried to poke the jelly-like substance of the inside of the bird’s eyes with a scalpel.
“What? It’s dead! It won’t feel it,” Tony said, looking up at me with innocent eyes that had my heart skip a beat. I snorted.
“Even so, how would you like it if someone poked the inside of your eyes?” I asked, pointing my bloody scalpel at his eyes to give him an example. Tony rolled his eyes.
“But I’d be dead and I won’t feel it. Besides,” Tony said drily, looking at me holding the dead bird’s heart in my hand, “aren’t you busy chopping out the liver and heart of the bird? You little hypocrite.”
I glared at Tony, resisting the urge to stick my tongue out at him. No need to get dead bird aura around my precious tongue and make my mouth taste horrible.
“At least I was assigned to do so. Otherwise, I’d fail. You weren’t assigned to poke its eyes!”
“By who? Name your witness!”
“Me, of course,” Tony smirked. I rolled my eyes and decided against answering him, focusing solely on placing the heart gently on the plastic before turning and cutting out the liver.
We were in the biology lab, dissecting dead birds and removing two of their organs. Although why anybody would even dream of putting this as a practical was beyond me. I bet the guy was some sort of bird psychotic killer who ate raw birds at night. And was probably allergic to the heart and liver. That’s why we’re removing the organs.
God, I’m becoming deranged from all this bird stuff.
It was about a month after that ‘almost kiss’ scene with Chris and I have to tell you, my days back at school was going great. I now knew many of my classmates and ‘lost’ friends. But I never really got over the fact that I had many girlfriends….or many friends, that is. It was only always James and Danny.
The things I had to re-learn at school was unnervingly familiar although I could’ve sworn I had never seen all this in my life. But I can’t, because I have seen them. I just don’t remember.
Damn, I’m not even making sense now.
Unfortunately, I had to face Troy and Lindsay a few times and…..damn. I was over the moon when I realized that I didn’t give a rat’s fart about them. They could be stripping naked in front of me while making out and I’d just walk past them as though I had never seen them in my life. Hooray!
And tragically, I had to get tuitions to catch up with the rest of my classmates and was surprised to find out that my tutor was supposed to be Chris, seeing as he was a straight-A student.
Sadly, we never got along very well as Chris seemed to want to do very little with me and was constantly avoiding me, much to my irritation. I mean, the kiss didn’t even fully happen! If he was so scared about breaking his friendship with Jesse, he didn’t have to tell him.
Yeah, and all that avoiding me? I stopped trying to talk to him at all, merely acknowledging that he was in the same room as me. Two can play at a game, can’t they?
“Oi! Kitty! The jars!” Tony said loudly, waving his hands in my face. I blinked at him in confusion. Jars?
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Thought so,” Tony muttered, rolling his eyes. He then glared at me, picking up the jars and opening the lid. “The jars? To put the organs in? Hello?”
I laughed and grinned in him in apology.
“Whoops, sorry. Okay, here, hold it for me….”
Tony obediently held the jar in place while I carefully placed the bloody organs (the blood not the swear word!) into the jars each. After I finished with each, I twisted the lid shut and turned to smirk at Tony.
“You label it and it’s your turn to clean up. I did it last week,” I said, smugly. Tony shot me a look of horror.
“That’s why you messed up the counter more than usual. You little devil!”
“Exactly,” I said, winking at him. I pulled off my goggles and placed it in the tray on the shelf above us, humming softly.
Tony looked over at me, indignantly.
“Obviously. It’s Friday and then the weekend! No tuition for me!” I sang, doing a little dance for joy. Tony chuckled and attempted to throw his dirty gloves at me. I gasped and dodged it, giving him a death glare.
All around us, students were busy struggling to put their bloody organs into the jar (Wait! Not literally their organs! The birds, the birds!).
Mrs. Josephine, our biology instructor, clapped her hands to get our attention.
“All right, students. Pack up and don’t forget to clean up afterwards. Bring your jars, labeled and your dead birds to my counter and leave it there. Put the dead birds into the black disposable bags and –Mark! Don’t dump the bird like that!” she scolded. Mark, a friend of mine whom I knew before the ‘lost’ year, scowled and made a show of rearranging the bird carefully into the bag.
Mrs. Josephine rolled her eyes and came to where Tony and I stood as lab partners.
“Hello there. I see that you two are improving rather well, Ms. Hollands and Mr. Andrews,” she smiled at us. We smiled back politely.
“Thank you, professor. But we think it’s all due to your wonderful teaching skills,” I complimented lightly. It’s good to have friendly relations with teachers, right? Tony snorted next to me at the context of ‘we’. Clearly, he didn’t think the same way. Luckily, Mrs. Josephine didn’t hear the snort from Tony and beamed at me.
“Why thank you, Ms. Holland!” After a short pause, her face became sympathetic.
“Ms. Hollands, I know that you were supposed to be free from tuitions today….” She began. I suddenly began to get a bad feeling about this. A veeeery bad feeling.
I froze with a stiff smile on my face.
“But you need to catch up a bit on your biology theory….”
Please don’t be what I think you are. Please. MY WEEKEND, for crying out loud!
“…and since Tony will be busy today, I’ve assigned Chris to tutor you after school today.”
Great. There went my good mood. I took a deep breath and plastered a completely fake smile on my face.
“Sure. That’s not problem, professor.”
It was a very big problem in my case. Mrs. Josephine smiled and left us. Tony glanced at me curiously, wondering why I wasn’t taking off my bloody gloves….or possible wondering why I looked ready to murder someone. Good thing I was wearing bloody gloves…..they’d think I had nothing to do with Chris’s murder because the only blood I had on my hands was bird blood.
Sighing, I took of my bloody gloves and dumped it into the trash before heading off to the back of the lab to wash my hands by the basin. I seriously doubt I’d be able to away with murder that way…that was just wishful thinking. If the school decided to hire the CIA, it would be extremely troublesome for me because then they’d be trailing my ass all over the place. And that doesn’t sound very pleasant, to be honest.
I took off my lab coat and hung it by the little pegs on the wall and slumped out of the room, not bothering to wait for Tony.
He caught up, eventually, not the least bit annoyed that I ditched him.
I was running through all sorts of curses and even making up new ones by the time I reached my locker….when someone tapped my shoulder.
Irritated, I turned….only to face the person who caused all this unwanted, undesired, uninvited happening to take place.
“What?” I snapped. Chris didn’t even seemed surprised. On the contrary, his eyes narrowed with irritation. Well, what do you know? He was also pissed off. Join the club, idiot.
“Just letting you know that you should bring you Biology theory books home,” Chris said coldly, eyes flickering from me to Tony with irritation. To make him more mad, I moved closer to Tony until our arms were pressed against each other and which caused Chris to cross his arms over his…er….rather well built chest.
What? I couldn’t help but notice…..
“You got it. Now, turn around and kindly leave,” I hissed, pointing down the hallway. Chris snorted.
“Gladly,” he retorted before turning and storming off.
I hated fighting with Chris, it made me in a totally rotten mood.
Fuming, I turned and punched in my locker code so viciously that I was surprised that the thing didn’t fall off in agony. I swung the locker door open with so much force and –
“Oh my God!” I gasped, spinning around to see who my poor victim was….
“Danny! Are you alright?”
Danny, who was groaning and clutching his poor red nose in pain, held up his other hand to silence me.
“Okay, why is Baby Doll angry? That’s all I want to know,” said Danny, looking at me wearily.
I scowled at him.
“My weekend is spoilt.”
Danny paused. And then with the most adorable confused expression asked, “Tuition?”
“Yes! With Chris!” I cried out in frustration, throwing my hands up in the air –until my hand collided with something hard and sent pain shooting up my poor knuckles. Did I hit my hand against the locker?
“Oww…what’s with Doll Baby?”
Shocked, I spun around to see James clutching his right eye…where I must’ve knocked into. No wonder my hand hurt.
“What’s with you and hurting people?” muttered Danny. I scowled and then stuck my tongue out at him.
“You okay?” I asked, looking at James whose eye seemed to be swollen…and purple blue in colour.
Wait a minute….I wasn’t that strong…
“Jamie. Did you get into another fight?” I asked, trying to be stern. I reached out and wove my hands into James’s hair with my left hand and brought his face down, making him bend over as I studied his injured eye.
That had to be painful. With my right hand, I gently touched his right eye which seemed to be closing a bit. James kept his eyes glued to mine, his dark eyes warm and gentle.
Standing a bit on my tip-toes, I gently blew his swollen eye before kissing it gently. My mom used to blow over any injury of mine and then kiss it. She used to say that it helped in the healing process.
I let go of James, gently running my hand to fix up the part where I tangled my hands in.
“That’s not fair. Why does James get all the attention?” complained Danny, pushing James away from me and dropping his heavy arms around my shoulders, leaning down to meet my eyes on equal level.
“I want a kiss too!” he pouted his lips. Laughing, I leaned forwards and pecked his cheek. As I pulled away, I spotted Jesse coming towards us…..with a crowd of girls surrounding him like he was a prince or something.
Wait, come to think of it….where was Ruby? Wasn’t she supposed to be with Jesse after class? Oh, whatever.
Danny scowled at me, tugging lightly at the end of my pony tail.
“Not there. Kiss me!” He complained. I laughed at him.
“Nope. Even I don’t give James that much attention.”
James grinned, coming forward. “I’ll give you special attention, then.”
“How?” I asked, skeptically. James laughed, leaned forwards and planted a light peck on my lips before turning and dashing off, towards his car. I blinked in surprise.
“Ohhh….that was the special attention?”
To my utter surprise, it was just Tony standing there, looking at me in amusement. Where did Danny go?
My surprise must have shown on my face because Tony laughed.
“Dan’s busy chasing James….I think planning on a murder.”
I laughed, shaking my head and taking out my biology theory books from my locker. Shoot. I don’t have a bag to carry them in. Oh well.
“Dan and James never plan on murder. They go on instinct,” I informed Tony, closing my locker and heading out to James’s car, noticing Chris and Ruby meeting Jesse as he stopped by his locker.
As Tony and I trudged through the mass of people hurrying to get home, Natalie caught up to us, somehow. Chattering and joking, we reached James’s car where…..James was sitting in the car, roaring at laughter at Danny who was surrounded by a mass of cheerleaders, wearing a perplexed expression.
“Baby Doll…..” he whined as he spotted us coming to his rescue. But unfortunately, it wasn’t us who saved him, but rather, Ruby.
She came up behind us and whistled loudly, making me, Tony and Natalie jump nearly a foot in the air.
“Okay, what are you girls doing here? Get your cute tushies moving or I’ll move ‘em for you!” she said in a loud voice. The cheerleaders instantly backed off of Danny, shot Ruby dirty glares and walked off, giving Danny flirting looks. Danny just looked relieved to be rid of them.
“Thanks,” he said to Ruby who just smiled at him.
“Hey, Chris!” crowed a bunch of girls from a little distance away. I glanced over my shoulder and sure enough, Jesse and Chris were standing behind us, talking to some of their buddies and completely ignoring their fans.
Irritated when I remembered that I had tuitions today, I slid into the passenger seat, sticking my tongue out at Danny who look dismayed to have lost the chance to sit up front.
My irritation spiked up when Tony and Natalie suddenly started conversing intently, Chris and his buddies started a discussion about the cost of cars, and Jesse and Ruby were busing playing tonsil tennis.
Danny was sitting in the back seat, texting and it seemed that only me and James were the ones getting irritated with the long wait.
“How about we drive off without them?” I suggested to James. James snorted.
“Good plan, but Nat’s making the lunch today.”
After another five minutes…. I couldn’t take it anymore. I leaned over a pressed the horn of James’s car a bunch of times, causing everyone to look at me in surprise.
“Get your butts in the car or we’ll leave you to walk your way home!” I yelled, sticking my head out the window. There were grumbled replies and people slid into the car. Jesse…Chris…and Natalie. Jesse and Chris slid into the way back, starting a new topic about bass systems while Natalie slid in next to Danny in the middle row starting up a bickering contest.
Good thing James owned a GMC. Old and definitely a hand-me-down, but a great car nevertheless.
A light tap on the hood of the car had my eyes turning to Tony who bent over to talk to me through the rolled down window.
“I need to ask you something,” he said, suddenly looking shy. Surprised and confused as to why he hadn’t asked me earlier, I shrugged and smiled up at him, my heart doing mini somersaults in my chest at his adorable blushing face.
The conversation all dried out and I felt a jolt of irritation yet again. It wasn’t like Tony was proposing or something.
The sudden silence in the car made Tony more nervous and he glanced quickly at Ruby who stood off to the side, smiling and nodding in encouragement. When she saw me looking at her, she turned away and bit down on her bottom lip.
“I…wanted to ask you…something…” Tony muttered, now going full on blushing.
Geez. Am I really that scary?
“You said that already,” James said, looking at him, curiously.
“Hurry up and ask her for her shoe size you dumb-ass,” drawled Chris in a hard tone. I glared at him over my head rest for his use of language. Tony blushed a bit harder and then smiled at me.
“Will you go out with me?”
“I can’t believe you accepted his date!” grumbled James, irritably. I rolled my eyes at him.
“You seem to be more upset about me coming to your house than about the date I accepted,” I pointed out. James didn’t answer as he unlocked his front door and swung the door open.
“Oh, no. Why would you ever think that I would be upset about you coming over? I mean, you’re always welcome,” James said, sarcastically. “Why don’t you make yourself at home?”
I frowned at his behavior and then stepped over the threshold of the house. My eyes widened as I took in the new arrangements of the house. I made no comment until I walked into their living room.
“Those…hot pink curtains…they weren’t there before…” I muttered, pointing towards where the hot pink curtains were pulled apart in a fashionable method. The soothing cream curtains from before were nowhere in sight.
“Where’s….our table?” I asked, hesitantly, as I slowly made my way towards the glassy coffee table where a wooden table with ancient designs and our names were carved into once stood. I blinked, feeling dismay sink in as I looked around the living room of James’s household.
The lovely and soft light brown sofas were all gone and replaced with rose pink leather sofas with matching armchairs. The only thing that suggested that this was James’s house was the Plasma T.V that was hung on the wall in its old positions. The DVD player and video tape player were still there, thankfully.
Even the walls were painted! They weren’t their usual comforting cream and calm red borders….
The walls were painted white with creamy borders. This wasn’t James’s house! This couldn’t be..
How could Kyle let everything be changed? All the former stuff were reminders of Dessie! How could he let them be washed off? Replaced?
“Yeah, welcome to the Willams’s household,” James said bitterly from the doorway of the living room. I blinked and slowly looked at him. Then I cautiously made my way past him and into their kitchen and froze.
“Is…this your kitchen?” I whispered, my mouth dropping open in horror. “Where…are the…cabinets? Why is everything glass?”
James didn’t answer as he let me take in everything. That new stove, the coffee maker, that silver toaster….no. This wasn’t right….
I turned and left the kitchen, making my way into every room and each time, my heart would pummel down to my feet and then back up. Finally, I reached James’s room.
As I swung the door open, I held my breath. But as I eyed the slightly messy room, I smiled in relief.
Nothing had changed in Jamie’s room.
The coffee table with our names carved in was pushed against the wall of Jamie’s room and had books and papers piled all over it. I smiled and happily entered the room, delighting in the comforting cream and calm red colours of his bedroom wall. Those curtains that obviously had a touch of Dessie, Jamie’s late mother. I looked at his bed and made a beeline for it, jumping straight onto his bed, ignoring Jamie’s chuckles.
I sighed dreamily as I sank into the soft and inviting comfort of his bed. “This is right. This room is the only one that feels right.”
James chuckled as he came into his room and shut the door behind him, dumping his school bag onto the old coffee table. He came over and sat on his bed, grinning down at me.
“I didn’t let her come in. Dad said that I wasn’t going to be forced to change my room.”
“I’m glad. But he comes here a lot, right?” I said, pointing to the coffee mugs on the window sill. I knew for a fact that James hated coffee….just like his mother. James smiled and sank back against his pillows, looking sideways at me.
“Yeah. He comes here when he misses her.”
I looked at James and reached over to ruffle his hair, smiling a little at him as I did so. “I imagine he does. She feels very much alive in this room,” I commented lightly. James gave a little smile, his eyes boring into mine.
We spent a few seconds of silence just looking at each other. Then I sat up and slid off of his bed, going over to his magazine rack and leaning down to take a look at his old collection.
“Hey, you still have this edition!” I said, enthusiastically, as pulled out an Iron Man comic book by Marvel. Then my eyes landed on a Thor comic and I gave a squeal.
“Oh, my love!” I said, delighted, replacing the Iron Man for a Thor comic. James joined me by his comic rack, blowing at the dust that had gathered over the days of not being used. I beamed up at him and then flipped through the pages of Thor, delighting at the familiar cartoon.
“I never threw them away. Mom used to love them,” James said, quietly, as he ran his hand along the rack that held almost all of the Marvel comics. I turned to survey him and then noted how he started to look depressed again. Pursing my lips a little, I put the Thor comic back into place and then took James’s hand, tugging at his fingers so that he would stand up and follow me out of the room and down into the kitchen.
“I don’t want to spend my time with a gloomy person so cheer up!” I said, grinning widely at him. James just looked at me and then at his surrounding before giving me a disdainful look.
“And we’re in the kitchen because….?”
“You’re going to cook with me!” I said, enthusiastically. James just gave a snort of disbelief.
“Hah, yeah…no. Doll baby, I’m not cooking anything.”
I scowled up at him as I pulled out a hair band and tied my red hair into a high ponytail. “Oh, stop being such a spoilsport!”
James just sighed as I shrugged out of my jacket and placed it neatly over the back of one of the chairs nearby. Then I cheerfully made my way towards where a bunch of aprons hung neatly on the wall.
I slipped on the super-woman apron and tied it neatly around my waist.
This was one of those very few moments where I actually consider being neat. It must be the new aura of this house…
“Doll Baby, I don’t want to cook anything,” James protested as I threw an apron towards him. He caught it easily but never took his eyes off of me.
“Of course you don’t. But because I’m here, you’re definitely going to cook! Besides, I miss your cooking,” I told him, pouting a little. James sighed and looked down at the apron in his hands.
“Besides, mommy really liked your cooking, remember?” I said, gently. “She told you not to waste your talent and to keep doing what makes you happy. Doesn’t cooking make you happy?”
James didn’t answer but after a short pause, he looked up at me and gave me a slow smile. “I guess.”
“Perfect! Let’s get a-cooking!” I sang, dancing my way towards a random cabinet which ended up storing spoons and stuff. I frowned and then surveyed the kitchen, wondering where the cooking recipes could have gone…
James was one of the best cooks ever. He and his dad used to cook for us at barbeque parties and the food were always the best. Dessie, James’s mother, was a big fan of their cooking and took loads of pictures of the different dishes the guys tried out.
“Let’s make lasagna!” I declared after giving up my search for the recipe books. I couldn’t find them and I highly doubted I would find them before my curfew hit.
James let out a little laugh as he slipped on the apron. “Why such a simple dish?”
“Because that’s the only one I kind of know how to make! And…because I can’t find the recipe books…”I admitted, shrugging. James gave me a look and then laughed.
“Lasagna it is!”
“Doll Baby, what’re you doing?” asked James from behind me. I paused and then look up at him.
“Er…putting flour on the pastries?” I offered, lifting my hands to show him my flour-clad hands. James laughed and shook his head.
“I don’t think that’s necessary,” he said, pointing to the completely white mess in the tray in front of me. I paused and then answered, elbowing James in defiant.
“Okay, I admit it! I accidently spilt the thing over! Quit laughing, you meanie!” I chastised, feeling my cheeks burn in embarrassment. James laughed, his face flushing with the amount he was laughing at.
At least he was laughing like that again….
I elbowed him again as we resumed making the lasagna.
By the time we finished, it was seven p.m at night.
James and I beamed at each other over the success of our lovely lasagna. We each cut a piece and then tested it out. It was so good that I found myself cutting up another slice and another. James, of course, put up a competition with me and won.
We ended up eating most of the lasagna with only about three slices left….
I laughed guiltily as I pointed it out to James. James just shrugged as he finished off his last slice of lasagna.
“Well, it’s their fault for coming home late!”
“I really wanted to meet them…I’m sorry that I had to go before they even come home,” I told James, disappointed. James just smirked.
“Don’t worry, Doll Baby. You’ll meet them eventually. Okay, better hurry in. Melinda’s going to get mad,” James said, nodding towards the front porch of my house. I sighed as I looked at my front door.
Home sweet home….
“Yeah. Okay, night James! Thanks for the delicious lasagna,” I said, leaning over and giving him a peck on the cheek before turning and getting out of James’s GMC. I hurried my way towards the front door and then turned to wave at James who was waiting for me to go in. James waved back to me and then started his engine as I unlocked the front door and slipped in, shutting the door behind me.
As I made my way upstairs with my stomach feeling pleasantly full, I thought about what Tony had asked me earlier.
I felt my cheeks heat up as I realized that I was going on a date with Tony!
Oh, I couldn’t wait!
A/N: I hope you enjoy this chapter :3 Here I've added in a bit of backstory to James's life. It's only a tiny piece, but eventually, you'll get more intel later ;) Thanks for readinggg!
NOTE: The comments below are okay but they only refer to the top part of the chapter before Kitty goes to James's house.