CHAPTER ONE: CONNOR TAYLOR
I dribbled the ball up the field as fast as I could, skilfully dodging opposing players as I went.
Carefully blocking out the noise of the crowd, I focused on the goalie.
“Okay,” I muttered to myself. “One more goal and we win.” I swung my leg back and just as I was about to shoot, the ball was kicked out from under me.
Unsurprisingly, I turned to see none other than Dakota Anderson running off with the ball with a smirk on his face.
I snarled and chased after him. Of course it was him. The King and star player of Ridgemount High; our rivalry school.
Dakota Anderson. I had hated him for as long as I could remember and vice versa. Dakota was a stuck up and conceited jerk who needed a good old punch in the face.
I ran after Dakota and soon it was only the two of us on the field; everyone else became a blurred background character.
Dakota had made it to the other end and was going in for a goal. In record time, I ran up to him and kicked the ball away before he could shoot.
Dakota made a small surprised sound before turning and chasing after me. We fought viciously for the ball as the other players watched.
Our feet were a tangled mess of skin and soccer shoes. Suddenly I let out a yelp when something hard made contact with my shin.
Dakota only laughed and stole the ball away while I was vulnerable. I glared at the dark-haired boy and chased after him but it was too late.
Just as I had reached Dakota he swung his leg back and let the ball fly. It went straight through the goalie and into the corner of the net.
I stared in disbelief as the crowd cheered behind him. Ridgemount had won the game. I wanted to strangle the goalie but not as much as I wanted to Dakota.
“What’s the matter there, Taylor? Couldn’t take the heat?” Dakota laughs from a few metres away and wipes his sweaty forehead with his hand. “Never picked you for a sore loser.”
“Shut up Anderson,” I shot back. “I’m just trying to work out how something with literally zero brain cells was coordinated enough to make that shot.”
“Funny. I was wondering the same thing about you.” Dakota retorts back and my best friend Trent and another teammate hold me back before I can murder Dakota who only laughs and walks away to celebrate with his team.
“Hey hey, we’re one point behind. We’re still doing well this season.” Trent tells me but I only growl. We should’ve won.
“C’mon man,” my other friend Scott says as he walks over to us and jumps on Trent’s back. “Even though we didn’t win, Angela’s hosting a party tonight. Free booze and chicks!”
He and Trent cheer and begin to walk towards the locker rooms but I only stand and glare at the back of Dakota’s head.
“You better watch yourself Anderson.” I say out loud. “Next time it won’t be so easy.”
I let out a heavy sigh as Dakota rolls off me and lies next to me on the bed, both of us panting heavily.
“We can’t keep doing this,” I say, “It’s not right.”
Dakota looks at me. “Why? Because we’re sworn enemies, always out to get each other?”
“We’re lying to our friends.” I state, “It doesn’t feel right.”
Of course it didn’t. When does lying ever feel right?
Currently lying next to me was Dakota Anderson as we just finished out lustful activities for the night.
Yes, you heard me correctly. Dakota Anderson and I, Connor Taylor, are in bed together. And we’re not sleeping.
Truthfully, we’ve been doing this for about a year now. Don’t ask me how it started either because I have no idea.
All I remember was we were both tipsy at a party and the next thing I know Dakota has me up against the wall and is attacking my lips with his own.
From there we just went on with our ‘friends with benefits’ routine. Enemies during the day in public, but sex partners behind closed doors.
We kept it a secret purely for the fact that people didn’t need to know. My best friends would kill me, my school would hate me for hooking up with the competition and it would all crash and burn. My school wasn’t homophobic and accepted that I’m gay but I wasn’t ready for this secret to be out yet.
As for Dakota, he’s bisexual and out at his school. His school is fine with it and he has no problem keeping our scandalous activities private. No one needs to know that we choose to consort with the enemy.
But it’s not a relationship. That was the deal we made with each other. A complete no-strings attached way to relieve tension and stress. A way to let loose with no commitments.
It was working fine until I started feeling guilty about lying to the people I care about.
“What do you want to do Connor?” Dakota asked as he laid next to me, calmly watching me. “You want to stop? Tell people?”
“No!” I exclaim quickly and sit up before sighing and burying my head in a pillow. “I don’t know. I just feel bad.”
Dakota doesn’t say anything as he watches me overthink everything.
“I just don’t feel right about lying.” I repeat.
Dakota sighs. “Maybe we should stop for a while. I don’t want things to get...serious,” he states carefully.
I shake my head. “No, I don’t want to stop. I just need to think things over.”
I groan and collapse back on the bed and shield my eyes with my arm. “Why does something that feels so good make me feel so bad?”
“You’re overthinking babe.” Dakota says with an amused smile and I don’t say anything.
Some people would find it weird that we act like a couple, pet names being an obvious one. However, since we’re not together and its casual intimacy, we can act however we want as long as it doesn’t get serious.
I sigh again and close my eyes. When I feel lips on my shoulder I smile lazily in content.
“Koda.” I moan my nickname for him as he works his way up my shoulder to the crook of my neck and bites my sensitive spot.
I sigh in pleasure and tangle my hands through his hair as Dakota runs his hands down my sides.
“Did you lock the door?” I ask in concern and Dakota looks up with a small smirk. “Yes Connor, I locked the door. I’m not stupid.”
I roll my eyes and he goes back to kissing my neck, biting and sucking on my sweet spot.
“Thanks a lot, you playboy.” I laugh. “I’m going to have to steal my Mum’s makeup tomorrow to hide that.”
Dakota snorts. “Con, you are just as much a player as I am, don’t even go there. Besides, do you really want me to stop?” he asks seductively as he pleasures me.
“No.” I groan and dig my nails into his back as he works his way down my chest.
After a while of just lying there Dakota sits up. “We should go. People will start to get suspicious if both of us are gone too long and suddenly appear at the same time.”
I nod. I forgot to mention that. We’re currently at the after-party Scott was talking about earlier. Thank God everyone is too drunk to pay attention to us right now. Smart Dakota.
We climb out of bed and hurriedly get dressed. I wince a little when I hit the part of my shin that Dakota kicked earlier in the game.
Dakota must’ve heard me because he looked up and smirked. “Oh, I’m sorry baby. Did I go too rough on you today? I can kiss it better?”
“Shut up.” I reply in annoyance and he snickers. Dakota may be my sex buddy but he’s still a complete jerk.
Once we’re dressed Dakota leaves the room first and I follow a moment later as to not look suspicious.
I make my way downstairs and find my friends in the kitchen. “Yo Connor! Where’d you disappear to?” Trent calls over the music.
I smirk and reply “Katie Vanderwaal.” The lie slipping out easily. Katie was a small girl in our year level who, because of her petite form, couldn’t hold her liquor very well and wouldn’t even remember if she had sex with me or not.
Then again, with me being pretty much royalty at Northshore, she wasn’t going to deny it anyway.
“Ooh yeah Connor, get some!” Scott cheers, clearly drunk as his words slur a little. Trent and I laugh at him.
We continue talking and my eyes eventually drift to the living room where the dance floor is located and a bunch of sweaty teenagers are dancing with each other.
I then notice Dakota kissing the life out of some girl in the corner. I roll my eyes. He really is a player. Hit it and quit it.
For the rest of the night I hover around downstairs, dancing and chatting with people from my school and avoiding Ridgemount kids as if they’re an infectious disease. One may wonder why if both schools hated each other they were at the same party. I’ll tell you.
Enemies could avoid each other and try to stab one another in the back when the opportunity arises but that’s not good enough for neither Northshore nor Ridgemount. We prefer to be in close proximity so the chance of attacking is easier and liable to witnesses from each school. Consider it spotlight hate; if you don’t bring someone down where people can see it, what’s the point?
At around one in the morning I haul Trent and Scott out of the house and to the car.
Scott is completely gone while Trent is only a little dazed. It’s my turn to be the designated driver out of three of us so I jump in the driver’s seat of Trent’s car.
I drive them home, taking them inside and alerting their parents so they know they’re home and to look after them. I also didn’t want to deal with Scott humping a lamp post any longer.
When I arrive home I quietly open the door and stealthily creep up the stairs. My parents are asleep and if I wake them, consider me dead.
I pass by my parent’s room without any problems but my foot creaks on a floorboard when I’m outside my own bedroom.
I hold my breath but no one comes so I let it out and quietly close the door to my bedroom behind me.
I take a quick shower, being sure to get the scent of sex, alcohol and sweat off my body before climbing out of the shower and throwing on some sweatpants with no shirt.
When I’m done, I climb into my bed. My head is about to hit the pillow when my phone suddenly beeps on my nightstand.
Rolling over, I snatch it up to see I have a text from none other than Dakota Anderson himself.
‘Tonight was good loser. Don’t sweat it about your friends, I don’t kiss and tell. Good luck with your sore ass tomorrow.’
I can practically see him smirking as he typed the message and the thought made me annoyed. Instead of humouring him with a response, I roll my eyes and toss my phone back on the table. Leave it to Dakota to find a way to annoy me without even being physically near me.
With the satisfaction of knowing he’s probably going to be annoyed that I didn’t respond, I roll over and finally drift off to sleep with no intention of waking up any time soon.