The Bad Girl's Nerd

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Chapter 44: "King Maximus, Has Summoned Your Sorry Asses"

Lia’s POV:-

I find Luke sitting cross-legged on the beach, drawing patterns on the sand with a stick. He was talking on the phone.

As I go nearer, I hear him say, “Yeah, that’s a better plan.”

He looks up at me and mumbles into the phone, “Mom I gotta go. Call you later.”

I wait for him to hang up. He stands up, and comes closer to me. My hands were shaking so I clasp them in front of me.

“Lia-”

“No Luke” I firmly shake my head, stopping him. “Before you break up with me, or start to loathe me, I just want to have one chance at explanation” I take a deep breath to stop my voice from quivering. “I feel, like I deserve that much.. To be honest, I don’t know what I deserve. But I know, that you don’t deserve to be hurt like that. And Luke, I swear..” Tears had started flowing down in full force as my sentences were starting to break. “..I didn’t know he was going to-”

I try to swallow, but my voice was getting choked up. A sob escapes my mouth before I could stop it.

“Hey.. Shh.. It’s okay. Lia, calm down” Luke brings out a napkin, and offers me. “Julian just left. He talked to me, and explained what happened. I know, it’s not your fault” he rubs my arms. “Jesus, you are trembling” he hugs me, rubbing my back. I lean my head against his chest, weeping in relief.

“So, you don’t hate me?” I ask stepping back, once I recovered.

“I don’t think, I could do that” he smiles softly, placing his hands in his pockets.

“We’re good?”

“We’re good” he confirms. I breath out easily, wiping my face. Luke was looking back at the sea.

“Did you know, Max and rest of them knew about us?”

“I think, I was always aware at some level” he mutters.

“Really?” I feel surprised.

Luke nods, “When you said, Ian made a move on you in the party, I felt more certain. And if I am correct, then that punch in the bus, was Max’s indirect warning to me.”

“A little heads up, would have been nice” I frown indignantly.

“It was just a theory” he shrugs. “I wasn’t sure.”

“Did you also know about Julian and Dylan?”

“Yeah. Although their case is troubling..” Luke sighs.

“What is it?”

“Ask Julian. In fact, you should talk to Julian.. I don’t think I could ever, without punching his face,” his tone grows colder. Wisely, I keep quiet. Luke had his hands in his pocket, as he angrily studied the waves. His body was taut, shoulders rigid. It took me a moment to understand, he was still in deep anger.

“Luke, are you alrig-”

“I’m fine” he snaps. I step back startled.

He sighs. “I’m sorry..” he says in a calmer voice, looking at me. “I just can’t handle my anger.”

“I’m sorry too.”

“Why are you sorry?” he kicks a stone towards the water.

“I don’t know. But I am,” I mumble. Luke steps closer to me, our sides touching. I hold on to his hand. He stays there, not moving, just staring at the water.

“Something fell,” he mutters.

“What?”

“From your pocket” he signals with his eyebrow at the white rectangular box, lying in the sand.

“Oh, this umm..” I pick it up fumbling with it. “It’s actually for you. But I am not sure if I should... give it..” I say nervously, my voice barely audible. Luke just plucks it out of my hand and opens it. His jaw drops, as he looks inside in astonishment.

So, remember that pen sort of thing, that Tim broke and tossed in front of Luke in the cafeteria. Yes, exactly. I had been working on it for some time, and I managed to glue it together with super glue, and paint over with color. It was not that easy, cause I roamed through hundreds of shops to get the exact off-white shade. Then I put nail enamel over it for the shiny effect. The crack was not visible, but I still felt really paranoid about the whole thing.

“Is it the same one?”

“Yep..” I pop it.

“It’s like before” he mutters in disbelief, picking it. I bite my cheek waiting for him to give the final judgement. He looks at it from all sides, “You know that day, I left the cafeteria in anger, but later I came back for it. On not finding the remains, I thought the janitor must have thrown it away.”

“Sorry, I should have told you..” I murmur but Luke was just looking at the pen.

“It’s like new.. I could have never done such a neat work” Luke says reverently putting it back.

“I was going to give it back tonight when we met again, but then I realized that ain’t gonna happen anymore. So I thought, I should just give it now. Lowkey, hoping this would make you hate me less” I admit. Luke was watching me silently in an expression I couldn’t read. “Actually it was quite risky cause, what if you didn’t like it. I mean, then you would just despise me even more..”

“Oh baby..” Luke whispers and grabs me in a violent kiss. It was so intense, I felt my knees weakening. He had my jaw in a firm hold as he kissed me like some wild animal.

“Jesus! Lukey, let the girl breathe.”

Luke releases me and we see Ian and Alex standing awkwardly. Ian gives a weird wave to us.

“C’mon you two. King Maximus has summoned your sorry asses” Alex mutters and starts walking. We follow his lead.

“Oh by the way, do not mention the topic about Dylan and Julian” Ian alerts us on the way. “Those guys are really weird about the whole thing, and want everyone to act like nothing happened.”

“But what did happen?” I ask.

“I know as much as you know” Ian shrugs.

We enter the Big Room to find Max, sorry ‘King Maximus’ pathetically trying a cart wheel, and smashing his colossal ass into the boxes. Julian was yelling instructions, while Dylan was sitting and enjoying.

“Lia!” Julian starts on seeing me. “Gosh, I am so sorry..” he says coming towards me. Luke growls under his throat, grabs my waist, literally smashes me into his side, and puts a firm hand on Julian’s chest not allowing him to come close.

“Julian I would suggest, you stay away for 2-3 years” Ian whispers. Julian gives a scared nod gulping under Luke’s glare. He meets my eye, and I mouth “Later” to him. To ease some tension I even give him a comforting smile.

“Oi! Everybody sit down in a circle” Max calls, already sitting on the floor. I notice the boys had finished sorting out the school stuff. We all go and sit around him.

“You two, move further apart” Max motions his finger between me and Luke. Luke quietly shifts. I look at him in disbelief, and move closer to him, making his lips twitch just for the briefest moment.

“No, no.. Farther apart” Max objects.

“Should we sit in the opposite corners of the room?” I ask sarcastically.

“That would be great” Max answers. I give him an unimpressed look. We all sit quietly for a moment.

“Since when?” Luke quietly asks.

“Quite long” Alex answers smirking. “God! It was so entertaining seeing you two” he sighs. And suddenly everyone starts talking excitedly, except for me and Luke.

“Guys!” I raise my voice. “One at a time, you morons.”

“It was pretty fucking obvious. Luke would sneak glances at you all the time. And above everything else, he used to bloody smile! All the time you were around!” Alex exclaims, making me pinch Luke’s cheeks teasingly.

“You were no better” Max scoffs. “He at least tried to hide. You used to gawk very openly!” Max shivers in distaste, making me smile nervously.

“Yeah..” Alex agrees. “Even that day, before we left for the match, in lockers room. You were blatantly ogling Luke while he was talking to Coach. Ian wanted to yell, ‘Get a room’.”

“Lia! We enjoyed so much..” Ian laughed. “It was so funny, seeing Luke laugh forcefully at all of Max’s lame jokes.”

“He was extra nice to me, because of all the guilt” Max smiles wickedly.

“He was attentive to us too” Dylan adds. “Usually he just ignores us like death.” All boys nod vigorously, making Luke look to heaven in exasperation.

“Oh!” Ian jumps, “You both used to flirt at lunch too. It was so cute-”

“-cringey” Max mutters.

“-seeing you talk and whisper to each other. And Luke we knew, you used to text with Lia all the time” Ian smirks at an uncomfortable Luke. “Although, it was really tough holding Max back. He used to complain all the time, ‘Why are they texting so much?’, ‘What’s there to talk about?’, ‘I need to confiscate Lia’s phone’” Ian imitates Max.

“You guys broke up, in the middle right?” Alex asks. I nod. “Well, it was so damn clear!” he laughs. “Dylan here even made a break-up playlist on his phone” Alex points at Dylan who was eagerly showing his phone. “It had all the songs like, Don’t Call Me Up, and Ciao Adios..”

Luke burst out laughing. “Thanks man” he fist-bumps with Dylan.

“Wait, I also remember!” Julian exclaims suddenly. “Lia used to be so annoying. She would just snap at me, and not make me any food. One day, she even pulled out a beautiful Ivy that was growing outside the window. I used to water the poor plant everyday. Upon asking she just yelled, ‘Oh you too go on and suck her ti-’”

“-Julian!”

“What?” he turns to me frowning. “I still don’t understand what the innocent plant did?”

“It’s symbolism” Luke mutters smiling.

“It was logical” I snap at him.

“It was childish” he retorts.

“Oh you wanna talk about childish? How about you getting angry over me wearing Julian’s shorts” I say defensively. “Or you being jealous about Ted?”

“It’s not worse than you punching that girl out of envy” Luke replies.

“Is that why you punched Amelia?!” Alex squeals in excitement. “Oh my God! This is so romantic!” Ian squeals even louder.

“I can’t believe you said that” I smack Luke’s arm. He gives me an apologetic look.

“No wonder he’s so smitten” Max guffaws.

Upon further urging and pleading, Luke tells a brief version of the story. To my further mortification, he generously added the part where I asked him to be my boyfriend.

“Lia, that is so adorable” Julian coos like an affectionate grandma.

I try to free my arms, from Luke’s grip. He had to do it since, I was pinching and poking him to stop him from telling the story.

“I don’t understand why you boys find my actions romantic, instead of looney” I mumble.

“Don’t worry, they are both” Luke teases, looking at me like I was a basket full of puppies. All the boys were wearing matching smiles, like they just saw a snowflake forming.

“Don’t look so smug just because you handled the break-up better,” I pout.

Ian gave a short laugh, “He used to sulk all the time! Luke would roam around like a wet hen, and not even talk to us. He even got a ‘B’ in one of his tests” Ian whispers to me. I give a loud fake-gasp, to tick Luke off.

“Yeah, what the fuck was that about?” Max frowns. “Nobody could enjoy that phase.”

“There was nothing to enjoy” I scold. “Don’t be so insensitive.”

“Oh, you’re the one to talk” Max retorts. “Parading under my nose, dating my best friend.”

“Hey! We were going to tell you!” I defend.

“When? At my death bed? Or were planning to bring me your child and say, ‘Max here’s your nephew’.”

“It could be a niece..” Dylan mutters. I think, I got a glimpse of Luke giving an overjoyed little smile, but I was too focused on Max.

“When we returned back home” I argue back, ignoring the taunts. “We were just scared of how you would react and how it might ruin everything.”

Max’s eyes soften, “To be honest, sometimes I too felt a little sorry, seeing Luke looking so damn guilty all the time.”

“Yeah, that’s why you so eagerly participated in messing around with them” Alex comments wryly.

“You mean, Ian and the bus...” I trail off.

“Yep, that was all planned” Ian proudly crosses his arms. “The bus incident, was carefully designed and arranged for maximum effect. ALTHOUGH, the punch was never included anywhere” Ian angrily spat out at Max.

“Hey!” Max looks offended. “I’m a metho-”

“If you say ‘Method Actor’ once more, I swear to God, I’ll rip your head off” Ian threatens.

“Look, I was in the ‘Moment’,” Max explains. “I did, what I had to do to make things believable.”

“And the party?” I ask quickly, before they start fighting. “You really scared me with that.”

Ian laughs, “Yeah, that was fun, seeing you freeze in alarm.”

“I had written his lines,” Alex says proudly, making me frown in confusion. “Honestly Lia, think. Ian called you enthralling. You think his tiny brain could come up with that?”

“Wait, he called you enthralling?” Luke asks in amusement, laughing quietly on seeing me nod.

“Calling girls enthralling, sure works better than, ‘I love your pear-shaped body’” Ian admits. “But Luke sweetheart,” he continues. “Don’t let her go. She’s a faithful one. Any lady that can resist the Ian Cooper Charm, is loyal.” Luke gives a gracious head tilt.

“That’s why Luke was scaring away those guys in the beach the other day” Julian says in realization, making me smile while the guys agree eagerly.

“What about your Big Brother speech?” I ask Max. “Telling me, ’They are all mellow on the outside-”

“-but inside they are nothing like you imagine” Max and Dylan finish in unison. “I wrote that line!” Dylan eagerly raises his hand. “I had been watching too much murder and dark stuff. So I told Max to add it in the end.”

“It was not the line. It was the way it was delivered” Max elucidates making everybody groan. “Such things require pure talent. And me being me, I’m a terrific actor” he brags, ignoring everybody’s irritated looks.

“Well, you sure terrified me” I mutter quietly. “Made me think, they were gangsters and rapists.”

“Dear Lord, it was hilarious when your Chapstick fell out Luke’s shorts” Alex chuckles. “He first blushed, then mumbled, that he liked it’s taste and smell.” I look at Luke in amusement.

“I’m not proud of my answer” he confesses.

“Speaking of Chapstick..” Ian starts, eyes darting around the circle in caution. Suddenly the boys became tensed, yet more alert. “You guys have done..” Ian swallows. “...it. Right?”

“What?” I question. Luke curses under his breath.

“I mean, you have kissed,” Alex points out. “But you haven’t yet... I mean.. You guys didn’t..”

“Consummate your relation” Dylan provides getting tired of Alex. My eyebrows raise in surprise.

“Guys shut up!” Luke scolds. “Don’t make her uncomfortable.”

“Holy Crackers you haven’t!” Julian exclaims quickly noticing my uneasiness. “Natalia is that really you?” he whispers.

“Shut up” I mumble. Meanwhile, Ian and Dylan were giving money to a very happy Max and Alex who were singing, “Pay up, pay up, pay up darling. Give it all.”

I look at Luke incredulous. He was looking at the activities in contempt.

“I am so proud of you Luke” Alex thumps his back.

“I am so disappointed” Dylan grumbles at him.

“I knew he won’t go that far. He’s too much of a gentleman,” Alex grins.

“This just proves, me and Alex know Luke better than you two” Max gloats at Dylan and Ian.

“I cannot believe you right now” I say dumbfounded.

“They won’t let me confront you” Max whines, accusingly pointing at the boys. “So I thought, I might as well make some money out of it.”

“Maybe we should look at this from both sides” Dylan suggests. “What if it was Lia, who avoided Luke’s advances? She was also feeling guilty, so she must have put him off.”

Julian gave a loud, sort of mocking, laugh. “Yeah right,” he snaps sarcastically. “She has no such thing, when it comes to boys” Julian explains, ignoring my angry look. “I am 101% sure it was Luke who held back. You are just kissing ass cause she’s my best friend” he sasses at Dylan, who accordingly shrunk back scared.

“And you,” Julian turns towards me. “I am just disappointed you didn’t have enough skills to lure Luke” he mutters looking displeased.

“See what you did!” I smack Luke’s arm.

“Ouch?” he rubs his arm, looking at me in confusion.

“Because of you, my skills are being questioned.” Luke shifts away from me with a sullen look. The boys were happily enjoying the show.

“Bottom line is,” Alex speaks up. “Me and Max are better friends of Luke.”

“Huh right!” Dylan scoffs. “We are better friends” he and Ian say together.

“Nope, we are” Max and Alex argue back.

“You all are horrible friends” Luke declares. They all turn to Luke with meek smiles.

“C’mon.. It’s the first time we could pry on you” Ian whines playfully. “Normally he’s very private and just drowns himself in books” he says to me. “This time we all had a feast! We literally acted like old ladies, heartily sharing all the gossips.”

I smile at their friendship. These boys loved and cared for each other. My eyes go to Julian who was creepily grinning at me, making my smile drop.

“I cannot believe you” he says in wonder. “I honestly, never thought, I would live to see such things happen. You made a boyfriend on your own, without me nagging over your head..” he dramatically wipes his eyes. We all chat some more, then get up feeling tired from the long day.

“Er.. Max.. I am sorry” Luke says standing in front of him.

“I know,” he responds, his lips twitching.

“I should have talked to you first. What I did was totally inappropriate, and totally crossing the lines but.. I like her very much” he says looking at me. “I am very grateful that are so supportive.”

“Yeah well..” he shrugs. “They forced me to be” he mutters glancing at Ian, Alex and Dylan who were huddled together, like excited mothers seeing their children’s dance. Luke turns towards them with a small smile.

“My apologies, to you guys too” he says humbly. They tell him to shut up. Suddenly Ian holds Luke’s shoulders.

“I was thinking.. An apology doesn’t recover the damage, so..” Ian fakely smiles. “Max! Hold him!” he pushes Luke towards Max who clasps back, a startled Luke’s arms.

“Now see, I took a punch for you in the bus” Ian explains doing some hand exercises. “It’s only fair if I get to punch you back.”

Ian pulled back his hand to take the hit, but at the last moment, Luke smoothly ducked down. He was able to because Max’s grip had loosened when he stopped struggling. Ian’s punch landed straight on Max’s face.

“Well what do know.. Universe gives back, what you give out” Alex mumbles.

“You are dead!” Max growls at Ian who was wildly trying to draw everybody’s attention at Luke, who had now joined my side.

Soon, Max got tired from chasing Ian, and things quietened down. We locked up the Big Room, and started retreating to our rooms.

“I’m hungry from all the running” Ian rubs his stomach.

“Alright but you are definitely, not eating Japanese” Dylan chides. “Last night you farted so bad, that your sheet went flying, making me think my dead Grandma came to visit.”

Luke tried to coax me to take another room. He didn’t want me anywhere near Julian. But I convinced him enough, and told him, that either way Julian and I had to talk. It would be best if we addressed things while they were still hot.

.......................................

“Lia, could I talk to Julian. Please?”

I eye Dylan suspiciously, who gives me another pleading look. I was in my softest PJs all set for a whole night chat with Julian. He had briefed me about the whole, his and Dylan situation, and I had offered to help him out.

“If you make him cry, I’ll make sure that’s the last thing you ever do” I threaten seriously. Dylan gives a scared nod. “Now come in, and talk to him” I order crisply.

“Would you mind giving us some privacy?” Dylan asks entering the room. I think for a moment and nod. Julian was in the bathroom.

“Umm.. you can.. go to my room. Luke and Ian will keep you company. This will take time” Dylan nervously explains. I give him a cold nod and another glare.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” I hear Julian’s voice while leaving the room.

I speed walk towards Luke’s room. It was a chilly night. I was about to knock, but then I remembered Dylan had given me the key. So I enter quietly. Like I thought, the room was dark and the boys were done for the night.

I tiptoe to one of the sleeping figures. From the little bit of moonlight coming through the window, I could see it was Ian, breathing evenly. I smile in the dark and go to the next bed. Luke’s brown hair was poking out from the sheet that was covering him. He was lying on his stomach, his bare shoulders rhythmically moving. He was also asleep.

I lift the covers and slid in. He sleepily opens his eyes and turns his head towards me.

“Natalia?” he mumbles.

“Yo!” I whisper excitedly.

“What are you doing here baby?” he softly asks, turning his body towards me. “Not that, I remotely mind” he adds, running his fingers through my hair. His sleepy voice was doing weird things to me.

Nice weird things..

It was so warm inside the sheets, I started feeling drowsy. “Dylan wanted to talk to Jhhuliaann..” I yawn. Luke chuckles, “For a second, I thought Dylan got too lonely. I might have kicked you off bed.”

I snuggle closer to him, “What gave me away?”

“This,” he mumbles, stroking my breast, then moving down to put his face between them.

“Luke..” a giggle escapes my mouth as I try to push him away.

Luke pulls me closer, his hand resting on my ass. He hums in approval, feeling the curve.

“Luke!” I whisper scold him.

“What?” he whispers innocently and guides me thigh over his leg. “Better..” he mumbles. I raise an eyebrow in the dark.

If he wants to play..

I press our lower bodies together, slowly rubbing my thighs against his legs.

“Lia..” he quietly groans. I press butterfly kisses to his jawline.

“Guys, condom is in top drawer” Ian calls out suddenly, making our giggling and whispering stop. “Don’t rattle the bed too much, and keep all types of sound to the minimum” he yawns sleepily and then everything goes silent.

“Do you think he’s asleep?” I ask after a moment.

Ian starts snoring softly. “He is now,” Luke mutters.

“Woah..” I jump a little. Ian’s snores had started getting louder every second.

“Yeah, that happens” Luke says sympathetically, rubbing my arm to calm me down. “You’ll tune it out, don’t worry.”

I turn the other side. Luke hugs my stomach, playing with my t-shirt. I squirm a little, innocently rubbing my ass against him. I grin in the dark, as I feel the familiar poke. I could feel Luke’s breathing getting a little heavier.

“Fuck..” he whispers, as I press harder. He kisses the bare skin on my shoulder, and generously bites it. His hands slip under my top, as he runs his fingers between my cleavage. I turn around to face him. Luke kisses me softly while I trail my hands lower.

“Darling, I can’t..” he whispers against my lips, making my hands rest against his waistband. “I can’t with him in the room” he pants.

“Really?”

He nods, “It’s just too weird.”

“Will you be able to sleep with that?” I rub my thigh against his hardness.

“I’ve been doing that since I’ve known you” he retorts.

“What?!” He just silences me with a kiss. I feel Luke smiling against my lips. “What?” I ask biting his bottom lip. “Nothing, just you being here with me” he whispers caressing my cheek.

I yawn happily as Luke kisses along my shoulder. “Go to sleep baby” he kisses my forehead and places my head in his shoulder. I sigh and put my arms around his waist, hugging him tightly.

“Goodnight Luke” I mumble sleepily. As if not feeling satisfied, he rolls over to lie on his back, with me on top off him. He adjusts the sheets, making sure I am all covered and then settles down with a sigh of contentment. Too tired, I was halfway asleep, but I could feel Luke playing with my hair.

I’m the happiest bitch alive..

..............................................

There you go...

Did I miss anything? I went through the previous chapters to get all the scenes. Hope, you liked this chapter!

P.S.: Max and Lia will also talk, don’t worry ;)

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