Chapter 17 | Don't Go Too Far
“I need to know Naveah. What are we doing?”
I couldn’t look away from his suffocating gaze. He actually called me from class just to ask me this in a dark closet.
“Mark, why do you always do these things at the worst possible times?” I sighed, leaning back against the wall. Mark’s body pressed into mine and I wanted to push him away almost just as much as I wanted to pull him closer.
“I can’t keep waiting around for you to do something Nave. I can’t keep waiting for you to fess up to your feelings about me, with everyone, so that we can finally be together and for real.” Mark’s eyes looked pained, and the dark circles around his eyes told me he hasn’t been getting much sleep.
“Mark... I... it’s just not as simple as you make it sound. Lucy lost both her mother and Maria all in one night. She has literally no one, and she is staying with me for the next couple of weeks until my dad can set it up so she can live alone at her place without any legal guardian since she isn’t eighteen yet.” I explained.
“I know you’re mad and upset and scared that this isn’t going to be an end game,” I motioned between the two of us, “But, I need you to wait just a little while longer, Mark. Do you think you can do that for me?” I took a step forward and gently placed both of my hands against both sides of his face.
“Do you think you can wait just a little longer for me?” I asked, praying he would say yes.
“No, I don’t think I can.” Mark said boldly.
A huge part of me knew he would say no. Still, I had to ask for that very small part of me hoping he would say yes. I felt my heart sink to my butt, and I took in a very small breath, shakily letting it out.
“But, I will.”
My eyes snapped up to meet his, and he was actually smiling. Mark Chase was smiling. It wasn’t a smirk, or a half-assed grin. It wasn’t a tease, and it wasn’t staged. Mark Chase had a real and genuine smile on his face, and I honestly thought I was going to pass out from the mix of different emotions soaring through my body.
“Y-you will?” I just barely managed to say.
“I will. I know I can’t have you right now, but knowing that I’ll eventually have you all to myself is enough excitement to hold off just a little while longer. You’re worth the excruciating wait Nave. You’re just so worth it I can’t even stand it.” Mark admitted as a slight tint of red began to fill his perfect cheeks.
My entire body went weak. My knees felt like jello and I suddenly found it very hard to breathe, let alone make a full sentence.
Mark took a step towards me, and I put some of my body weight against his, forcing him to hold me up from falling.
“Are you alright Naveah?” He asked, a look of concern washing over his features.
“Yes. I’m absolutely perfect.” I smiled.
I leaned forward and pressed my lips to his. No matter how many times I kiss Mark Chase, it still feels like the very first time. Our kisses are hungry, full of temptation and desire.
To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves. However, that punishment is the only thing that’ll keep me sane. Keeping this quiet for just a little while longer is going to keep me sane. I can deal with the punishment, I just can’t deal with losing Lucy or Connor as my friends. I sort of know that Connor will probably disown me as soon as he finds out, but maybe with more time and preparation, Lucy will only be mad at me for a little while and then will soon forgive me.
I can at least hope, right?
“We have to get going, the bell is going to ring soon.” I stated, pulling away from Mark, “Are you going to be okay with this? With waiting?” I asked again.
“No, but I will wait anyway.” He smirked, placing one extra kiss against my cheek.
I smiled, but slightly pushed him away so I could stand up properly. I picked up my bag from the floor and turned towards the door.
I felt a strange sensation that someone was standing on the other side of the door, but after waiting a few seconds and finally pulling it open, I saw no one and let out a breath of relief.
I turned around quickly and gave Mark one more smile, before stepping out of the closet and walking down the hall towards my next class for the day. I figured I would meet up with Lucy after school in the parking lot, since we have no other classes together today.
As I reached the end of the hallway and turned the corner, I bumped into a hard chest.
“Ow... oh, hey.” I said softly, peering into the dull blue eyes of Connor.
He looked like he was out of breath.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah. I just left the bathroom, lunch really messed my stomach up.” He nervously chuckled while patting his stomach.
“Oh, want some pepto?” I pulled the bottle of pink liquid from my bag and handed it over to him.
“You’re a real life saver.” Connor smiled, though it seemed strained.
“Don’t mention it. You can give that back to me tomorrow, just keep it with you.” I smiled, adjusting the strap of my bag on my shoulder.
“Well... see you.” Connor suddenly said, turning around to walk in the opposite direction of me.
“See you.” I said, watching him walk down the hallway I just came from.
Well that was weird.
Though I figured seeing Connor after our intense break up would be weird, I didn’t quite expect it to go like that.
Sure, let me just give my ex-boyfriend a bottle of Pepto-Bismol for his supposed upset stomach in an empty hallway at school. Not strange at all.
Shaking my head of the weird thoughts, I went to my next class and took my seat in the back. I let out a breath of air and sighed.
When did my life become so complicated and messed up?
Oh yeah, that’s right. It became complicated and messed up the very same day that you and Mark fornicated in the janitor’s closet one sunny afternoon when you weren’t supposed to.
God, if I had just kept to myself and minded my own business, I wouldn’t be in this jam. Then again, I don’t regret Mark. I could never regret my time with Mark, however wrong it may be.
Why is the one thing that brings me the utter-most joy, also the one thing that makes my life a living nightmare?
Nevertheless, I did this to myself. I chose to follow Mark into that hallway. I chose to follow Mark into that janitor’s closet, and I chose to allow myself to get mixed in with the one bad boy who I swore I would always hate. The one bad boy I swore I would never see any good in, and here I am practically in love with him.
Why did it have to be Mark? Why did it have to be Connors best friend and Lucy’s big crush?
All of these questions and I know that I will probably never know the answers.
| Mark’s POV |
I didn’t know why Naveah hesitated before leaving the closet, but I still waited a few minutes before leaving myself.
I can still see her smile, and smell her honey-suckle hair. This girl drives me wild, but in all the best ways. How can someone so beautiful and so perfect, be the worst possible choice for me? How can this girl be the one for me, when the circumstances of our lies and betrayal are that of huge importance?
Never in a million years would I ever put myself in the position to fall for my best bud’s girl. Even when I lived back home in Florida, my best friend Jimmy never worried about me with his women. Any time he had a girl on his side, I kept my distance and for good reason. I have never been interested in any of my friend’s girls, so why Connor? I mean, Connor has been more of a friend to me than anyone has in my entire life. He has given me a place to crash whenever I can’t be around my mom. He has given me food whenever I can’t afford to eat. He has always been there for me, and this is how I am going to pay him back? By stealing Naveah? By stealing the one girl that he’s been in love with since freshman year?
That can’t be right. This can’t be right, yet here I am waiting to leave a closet after kissing Naveah in it.
Here I am pining after a girl that I deemed untouchable. I suppose I always have been good at breaking the rules. I suppose some people just never change, no matter how hard they try.
I sighed and leaned up against the wall in the closet.
Am I doing this the right way? Should I be doing this? I shouldn’t be, yet I am.
I could always just ignore her. Ignore her everywhere I go and pretend I never even met her. Pretend I never once looked into her deep brown eyes and felt like I was staring into the most beautiful sunset. Pretend that I’ve never kissed those soft, pink lips that always smell like candy-apples or raspberries. Pretend that I’ve never felt her bare, beautiful body pressed up against mine. Pretend that every single time I touch her; I feel a spark of electricity that shoots down every inch of my bones.
Pretending isn’t easy though. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things that someone could ever do. To pretend not to love someone when it’s as clear as the bright blue sky that you do, is the ultimate lie to not only the other person, but to yourself.
Life isn’t fair, but it sure is spectacular. She is spectacular.
I shook my head of my thoughts and finally exited the closet. I took a left turn down the hallway and immediately ran into someone.
“Oh, hey Connor, what’s up?” I tried my best not to sound guilty.
“Nothing, just heading to class. Where were you last period?” He rose his eyebrows.
“Oh um, got called to the office. My mom called looking for me again. I told her to stop day drinking, but you know her. She never listens to a word I say.” I shrugged.
“You wanna crash at my place tonight? We can order wings and play Call of Duty.”
I debated this. I love Call of Duty, but it might feel too weird to have a guys night with the guy who’s girl I am currently trying to steal.
“I just don’t wanna sit at home alone. I mean after Naveah broke up with me, I’ve been kind of lonely to be completely honest.” Connor confessed.
“You and Naveah broke up? When did this happen?” I found myself asking.
“Oh um, Saturday. The day after the insane Friday night/birthday party.” He shrugged.
“Why didn’t you tell me man?” I asked, more in disbelief that Naveah didn’t mention it the few times I’ve seen her since then.
“I don’t know. Just didn’t feel like dwelling on it. She claims she just doesn’t feel the same anymore and only wants to be friends, but I feel like there’s some underlying reason that she isn’t telling me. Oh well, I guess I can’t change her mind. I’ll just have to take some time, some space and get myself together. Once that happens, I can maybe try to be just friends with her. I do still want her in my life.”
This is the most Connor has ever opened up to me before about Naveah. What do I even say?
“Yeah, sorry bud. I guess she just wants something better. Oh by the way, that something is me... but don’t worry, we still want you to be our friend.” Yeah, like I would ever say that for real.
“Man that sucks. I’m sorry bro. I’ll come over tonight. Monday night Call of Duty sounds great actually. Gives me time to get my mind clear of some things.” I shrugged, walking with Connor towards our next class together.
“Yeah? What things?” He pressed.
“Oh you know... just stuff with my mom.” I said, trying my best to play it cool though I didn’t need to try too hard, after all... I am the definition of cool.
Que handsome smirk.
Why yes, it’s true, I am full of myself.
Connor and I walked into class and saw Red sitting near our desks.
“What’s up Red?” I asked, sitting down and slinging my backpack on the floor by my feet.
“Nothin’ much. What’s y’alls plans for the night?” He asked both Connor and I.
“Call of Duty and wings at my place. You down?” Connor asked Red.
“Sure, count me in. I’ll text you for your address later.” Red nodded, sitting down in his seat in front of me and pulling his attention to the teacher at the front of the room.
This is the part where I zone out and pretend not to care.
I doubt anyone would ever believe this, but I actually have a three-point-five GPA. I have always been pretty smart, that’s why I can’t for the life of me, figure out why Naveah didn’t tell me that she broke up with Connor.
If I had known that, I wouldn’t have dragged her into the closet earlier, I would have just kissed her out in the light of day.
At this point, it would have been easier to just rip the Band-Aid off Connor and Lucy and just show them that Naveah and I want to be together. Instead of sneaking around and waiting for the right time to tell them. The truth is there is never going to be a right time. They could both be having the best days of their lives, and the second they find out about Naveah and me, it will be all over.
I looked over at Connor, and the more I watched his expressionless face, the more I knew how bad he was hurting. I know he truly loved Naveah, and most likely still does. I know he thought they were unbreakable, and that they were never going to drift apart.
In fact, I remember when I first met Naveah. Connor told me he started seeing the new girl, and when I saw her, something inside of me shifted. They were inseparable though, and Naveah surely didn’t like me at all, she made the perfectly clear from the start.
| Flashback |
“Man, it wasn’t me Sir. I don’t even like ketchup!” I lied, following the principal into the administration office.
“Nevertheless, two eye-witnesses say they saw you squirting it up into the ceiling Mark. I will not tolerate this foolishness from anyone, especially the Florida transfer student.” The principal scolded.
“Just take a seat here and I’ll call you when I am ready for you.” He pointed to the chairs near the front doors of the administration office, and I happily took a seat, not at all excited about having to talk with the principal.
“Whatever.” I mumbled as I sat down.
When the principal walked away and went into this office, I heard someone laughing.
“Shut up, Connor.” I sighed.
“Why do you always end up in here man? For someone who hates this office so much, you sure do love stopping by.” He smirked, peering over the administration desk.
“Since when do you work here?” I asked, changing the subject.
“Really? I have been working here since the beginning of the semester. It’s part of my elective.” Connor laughed, shaking his head.
“I never noticed you before.” I shrugged.
“That’s because usually the principal takes you directly into his office, instead of giving you time before the big lecture.” Connor smiles, standing up to come sit beside me.
“Right. Anyway, I hope this doesn’t take long. Some blonde haired chick was supposed to meet me near the bleachers after first period.” I smirked just thinking about her.
“That Marissa chick? Man she’s such a tool.” Connor sighed. “I don’t see why you go for those types of girls.”
“Dude I don’t care, she’s hot.”
“You need to find someone like Naveah.” He suddenly smiled.
“Who’s Naveah?” I asked, never hearing about the girl in question before now.
“Oh I met her last week, she’s new here. Just moved from New York. We went out twice already and honestly I don’t think I’ve ever thought about a girl this much before in my life.” He confessed, scratching the back of his head.
I rolled my eyes. “Dude, we’re in our freshman year of high school. We are fourteen turning fifteen. This is our time to browse... you know, look around and hang out with different girls. Get our feet wet. You can’t just automatically settle on one girl.”
“Says you. Why browse when you’ve already found the perfect buy?” Connor rose his eyebrows.
I thought about it, but shrugged. “Suit yourself. More girls for me, not going to argue.” I smirked.
At that exact moment, the doors to the administration office opened and the golden-haired girl who walked through caused my breath to hitch in my throat. She flung a piece of her hair perfectly over her shoulder, and adjusted the strap to her bag on her shoulder.
I watched her flawless smile grow so big, it reached her eyes and then some. I went to smile back, but it was then that I realized she wasn’t looking at me.
I watched her every move as she walked over to Connor. She pulled him up from his chair and gave him a tight hug.
“Hey Con!” She smiled wide. “How are you this morning?”
“Well I’m great now.” He smirked, kissing the top of her head. The blush that appeared on her cheeks was the most beautiful shade of red I had ever seen, though I would never admit that.
“Who’s the delinquent?” She asked, motioning her eyes in my direction.
“This delinquent’s name is Mark Chase. Not that it’s even any of your business toots.” I scoffed, slouching a bit in my seat to appear cool.
Connor gave me a pointed look, and my smirk grew.
“Well Mark, shouldn’t you be in with the principal getting your sentencing?” She rolled her eyes.
“Wow, nothing gets by you.” I sighed, causing her to glare. I watched as her nostrils flared a bit, and I wanted to laugh at how cute she looked when mad.
“Connor, tell me this isn’t another one of your friends.” Naveah said, inching further into Connors side as his arm dropped over her shoulders.
“Actually, he is. I met him the first day of school a couple weeks ago. Guess he just stuck with me.” Connor laughed.
“Please, I didn’t need your help.” I replied, “But hey, everyone needs a friend right?”
“I think you need an orange jumpsuit.” Naveah casually commented.
“Oh sure, and then maybe we can get you a proper outfit. That skirt just isn’t high enough for your taste now is it?” I teased, though the scowl on my face told her I was far from joking.
Her eyes grew wide and I could see the anger building up behind them.
“Ugh! You are the worst. Connor you need a new friend.” She suggested, looking up into Connors eyes.
“Sorry, I keep all of my friends.” Connor laughed, giving her a sympathetic hug, “Even the annoying ones.”
“Don’t worry Nave; we will have tons of fun together!” I clapped my hands together mockingly, in a bad attempt to resemble a girl.
“Nave? Do not call me Nave. I hate nicknames.” She sighed, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Well, I hate you, so I guess we both have something in common.” I smiled wide.
“Why are you such an asshole?” She hissed.
“Alright, enough you two dang.” Connor chuckled, pulling Naveah in for one last hug before taking his seat back behind the administration desk.
“Well this has been real fun and all, but I gotta get going.” I suddenly said, standing up.
I smirked when I realized how much taller I was than Naveah. She’s the perfect height for me.
“Don’t you have to wait for the principal?” Connor asked.
“Hm, let’s see. Stay here and wait to speak with the principal, who smells like stale coffee and disappointment, or go to the bleachers and see that hot Marissa chick. Man... decisions, decisions.” I sarcastically pondered.
“Please, what girl would ever be interested in you? I can tell right off the bat that you’re nothing but a player. Any girl who would fall for you has got to be the biggest idiot of all time.” Naveah laughed.
As soon as I heard that laugh, it stuck into my memory like glue.
“If you ever want a real relationship, you gotta be more like Connor.” She smiled over to him, batting her beautifully long eyelashes playfully.
“Real relationship? Don’t kid yourself girl, you’ve known the guy for like five minutes. I don’t get why girls are so quick to want something long-term. It’s ridiculous. We’re young, we don’t need to be all settled. What ever happened to just having fun?” I seethed, actually feeling annoyed with the girl now.
“Well some people know a good thing when they see it, and they’re smart to hold onto it. Some people don’t like flings or quick hook-ups. Some people have class.” She scoffed probably feeling annoyed herself.
“Class, right. Speaking of class I think you’re going to be late Nave.” I motioned to the hallways where kids were scrambling to get to their next class. Apparently, during this heated discussion, nobody heard or paid attention to the bell ringing.
“Crap! Ugh, I hate you.” She seethed, and then went over to Connor to kiss him on the cheek.
I have no idea why, but I felt a little jealous.
“Connor, please make some new friends today.” She begged while heading for the doors to the administration office.
“And Mark?” She suddenly said before leaving.
“Yes dear?” I smirked.
“My name is Naveah. Not Nave.” She glared, speaking through gritted teeth.
I waved with a wide smile and chuckled as she left the office and headed towards her next class.
Connor looked at me and then shook his head with a smile. “I can already tell I will have fun dealing with the two of you.”
“Hey, she started it.” I shrugged. “Of course, I will always have to finish it.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t go too far, alright?”
“Don’t go too far, you got it boss. Catch ya later. If the principal asks, I just vanished into thin air.”
Connor nodded with a wave and I nodded back before turning and leaving the administration office.
“Don’t go too far, alright?”
Don’t go too far.