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Chapter 17

She's grounded?! What kind of excuse is that? She's a good kid. Why would her mom ground her? I'm not stupid to believe that kind of lie.
I really like Ariana. I don't want to feel this way but I do. Why won't she try to get to know me? I'm not that bad. I am a bad person. Just not as bad as she thinks.
I'm angry right now. Every time I get mad at her, I think of uploading the video to punish her.
"Dude, put the laptop away," Jerry says.
"She's pissing me off," I say, "I'm fed up of the stupid excuses."
"Maybe you should just leave her alone," he says, "if your mom finds out, you'll be in shit."
I couldn't care less about my mom finding out. If she finds out, I'll get a bag of cash and run away. I'm not going to military school.
"I'm not afraid of her," I say, "I have a plan to save my ass."
"Aria might tell her everything," he laughs.
"She wouldn't dare," I say.
"It's your last chance," he says, "your mom has had enough. You should leave Aria alone bro."
"No way in hell," I say.
I need to talk to mom. She can't ground me for two whole weeks. I'm going through some much and being grounded won't help solve any of my problems.
Bryson and I will only meet at school. We might not even get a chance to say hello to each other 'cause Darren won't let me out of his sight after what happened earlier.
I get into mom's room. She's reading a book. She does that when she needs to relax. I think I really pissed her off.
"Hey mom," I say.
"Go back to your room," she says softly.
"Mom, please," I sit next to her, "you can't ground me. Not now."
"I already did," she says, "you're changing in so many ways Ariana and I do not like that. You barely speak to me or your brother. You're not trying your best in school like you used to."
I wish she knew how messed up my life is right now. I'm doing everything Darren wants so he doesn't upload that video. Mom keeps saying she's fine with me having sex but how will she feel when she actually sees me doing it? How will she feel when she finds out that everyone is watching that?
I don't want that to happen. I want to get rid of my problems. I want to care more about the people around me.
"I'm sorry," I say, "I deserve this."
It'll help me stay away from Darren so it might not be the worst thing.
Mom drove me to school today. I thought she was kidding when she said she'd do that but it turns out she's more than serious about this whole thing.
She commented on my outfit which is an oversized T-shirt and a pair of shorts. She said I looked funny. I decided to ignore that. I look pretty normal.
I'm now walking down the hallway. It's not so packed 'cause mom dropped me off early.
When I get to my locker, Alya is standing there with her friend. That Brittany girl. They're starting to get on my nerves.
"Good morning sunshine," Alya smiles at me.
"What do you guys want?" I ask as I open my locker.
"I wanna talk," Brittany says, "two minutes are enough."
"Brittany I already told you_"
"The name is Britney," she says before I can finish my sentence.
No big difference. The names are almost the same.
"Okay," I give her a fake smile, "if you like Bryson that much, just go tell him. He likes girls who are straightforward."
"You like him, don't you?" She asks.
"No! Bryce and I are just friends."
"Not for long," Alya chuckles.
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"Bryson has just realized that being friends with you isn't enough," she says.
What the hell would he wanna be other than friends? He'd never ask me out even if he liked me. He's just not a relationship person.
"I want you to keep a distance," Britney says.
Why don't these girls just talk like normal people? They don't get straight to the point. I'm not interested in talking to them. They should at least say what they want quickly and disappear.
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"You spend a lot of time with Bryson and that stops him from noticing me," she says.
This bitch! I already told Bryson about her. He knows that she likes him.
"Are you saying that I should stay away from Bryson?" I laugh.
"Yes," she smiles at me. I can tell that it's fake. It's clear. She doesn't like me at all. The feeling's mutual.
"No way," I laugh.
Britney must really be insane. I'm not staying away from Bryson 'cause she wants me to. I'm not doing what she wants me to do 'cause I don't owe her anything.
I grab my books and walk away from them.
Why me? She could've asked Leo for help. Doesn't matter if he's a guy. He's also Bryson's best friend.
"Hey girl," Tina is now walking beside me.
"Hi," I say.
"Is everything okay?" She asks, "I saw you talking to Britney. You don't seem to like her."
"I don't," I say, "she's asking me to help her. She likes Bryson and she wants me to link them."
"Why doesn't she just tell him? He'd like that."
"I already told her to do that but she didn't listen," I say, "I told Bryson about her. They might get together anytime soon."
"Doesn't that bother you?"
The only thing that bothers me is the fact that I'm grounded.
"No," I say, "why would you ask me that?"
"Aria, when are you going to stop ignoring what you really feel for him?"
"I'm not ignoring anything," I say.
"Darren is no good," she says.
"He's pretty nice," I lie, "you just don't know him as much as I do."
"We can all see that he's forcing you to be with him," she says.
"He's not forcing me to be with him," I say, "I'm the one who asked him out."
"You asked Darren out?" She asks.
"Yes," I nod, "now I'm gonna go to the library and find some books to read."
I've been in here for the past twenty minutes. Wimpy kid is really interesting. I got to laugh a little.
It did sound like I was gonna do some serious studying when I told Tina I was coming to the library.
I'd study if I could. I find it really hard these days. Every time I try to study, I think of my problems and I end up getting nothing. I'm giving up for now.
Maybe I should just think of some ways to get rid of Darren and that tape. If I wasn't me, I'd just let him upload the video.
"Just sneak into his house when he's not around and get it," It's Bryson.
How does he know what I'm thinking about? It's so fucking creepy when people know exactly what I have in mind.
"You're always thinking about your problems instead of focusing on the good things going on around you," he did it again.
"How did you know I was in here?"
"Tina always knows where you are," he says.
"Oh," I chuckle, "I told her I was coming here."
"Wimpy kid?"
"It's really interesting," I smile.
"I haven't read these in a long time," he chuckles.
"Me too," I say, "I was just in the mood." I sit on top of the table.
"You and Travis started hanging out, huh?" He asks.
"The diner thing was a coincidence," I say, "we might hang out again."
"I don't like him," he places his hands on either sides of my hips.
"Why is that?" I ask.
"You're just so sexy," he leans in slowly.
He's really close. I can feel his breath fanning my face and he inches even closer causing his lips to brush up on mine. We stare right into each other's eyes.
We're about to kiss. I didn't expect this to happen when I woke up earlier this morning.
What should I do? Is it okay if something happens between us? Is it gonna upset him if I push him away again?
"Bryson," I say his name quietly and take in a deep breath. It is then that I feel his lips on my neck where he kisses me softly. I close my eyes and lay a hand on his chest.
He lays a hand on my left knee and moves it up my thigh. I start breathing heavily as his hands caress my skin.
He presses his lips on mine and kisses me slowly. I kiss him back and wrap my arms around his neck. Our lips move together as his hands explore my body. I moan in pleasure and grab his hair.
He tastes so good. Why have I been avoiding this?
We kiss harder and Bryson's hands find their way under my T-shirt.He bites my lower lip and his tongue finds his way into my mouth.
"What's going on here?" It's the librarian.
Just Great!
We pull away and I immediately jump off the table.
"We were just about to leave," I say and immediately make my way out.
That didn't last long but I felt something. I felt a lot of things. I wish we could do this more often. Why have I been avoiding it? It was great. His touch felt like paradise. He tastes so good. I want more.
What if someone saw us? What if Darren finds out? He's gonna get pissed.
"Aria," Bryson calls me but I don't respond. I keep walking and the bell rings just then.
Thank God.
School's finally over. It's really sad how I haven't picked a thing from any of my classes. I couldn't stop thinking about the kiss. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw me on top of the table with Bryson hands all over me. Caressing my skin.
I was also worried that someone saw us. The librarian is friends with some of the kids who go to the library. Gossip doesn't take long to spread around here.
I'm packing my books right now. I have loads of homework to do when I get home. I should be out quickly. Mom will be here any minute. The hallways are almost empty. I would've done things much quicker if I wasn't thinking a lot.
"Ariana," fuck this! Why is Darren in here now?
"What do you want?" I ask.
"Let's go out," he says, "you can choose where you want us to go."
I told him I was grounded. I can't hang out.
"I can't," I say, "I'm grounded."
"I saw the text. You're grounded?" He chuckles, "good excuse by the way."
"It's not an excuse," I say.
"Every time you do such stupid things, I get so angry and the only thing I can think of at that point is uploading the video," he says.
"Darren, I'm serious," I say, "my mom got upset and she grounded me for two weeks. I'm not allowed to go anywhere but school. I can't even drive myself here."
"You hate me," he says, "that probably makes you happy."
"It doesn't," I say.
"I wanted to spend some time with you," he says, "I can't wait two weeks for that."
"We're together now," I say.
"This is not enough," he wraps an arm around my waist.
I hate it when he touches me like that.
"Darren, we're still at school," I say, "you can't_"
"Do I look like I give a fuck?" He asks before I can finish my sentence.
Why does he have to be so mean all the time?
"My mom will be here soon to pick me up," I say, "I have to go outside."
"You're leaving with me," he says.
"Darren, I don't want to get into more trouble," I say, "we'll talk tomorrow."
"If you leave with your mom, I might just upload the video."
"What the fuck is your problem?" I ask, "can't you be understanding for once?"
"What video is he talking about?"

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