All I wanted to do was sit in front of my tv and gorge Nutella on toast, but instead I had to get ready for school. I had a habit of over analysing things, and technically since I hadn't kissed the guy...surely that wasn't enough to feel guilty was it? So why, whenever I thought of Cal's beautiful face, did I get butterflies in my stomach? Why did I feel like I couldn't breathe when he stared at me with those insanely intense eyes? Why did I think about him when I fell asleep and as soon as I woke up? I felt awful. Well done Gretchen, you're a cheat. Well, pretty much. I heard a ping on my phone, notifying me I had a text from Luke.
Love you baby. x
I felt like screaming. How was I going to get through today? I texted back with a simple kiss and then stared at myself in the mirror. Maybe I would wear my hair down today, after all, Cal seemed to prefer it that way.
I ran some curl cream through it and scrunched it up, making the curls wild and sexy. I did my usual lip gloss and mascara, but decided today, I wanted to make more of an effort. I pulled on my thick black tights and a honey coloured jumper dress before heading out to walk to school.
I was halfway there when I saw Cal. I felt my chest close up and my steps slow as I watched him. He was smoking, obviously, but he looked incredible. He had a grey beanie hat on with his blond hair escaping out at the sides. He had a white Ramones t-shirt, ripped skinny jeans and trainers. He wore a black leather jacket and was talking to someone, but I just couldn't see who. I walked slowly and moved to the right so I could see who it was. I saw a red skirt, and her trademark knee high boots.
He was talking to Krystal.
My heart sank and I felt sick with jealousy. She was clearly flirting with him; leaning forward and pulling him towards her using the collar of his jacket. She took the cigarette out of his mouth and kissed him hungrily. I couldn't watch; I couldn't bear to. His hands were all over her body, and I felt nausea wash over me. There was literally no other way to walk, so I crossed the street and strode as fast as I could past them. I heard a car pull up beside me and I was so relieved to see Sienna and Ethan.
"Need a lift babes?" Sienna called.
I climb into the back, grateful to be hiding away from the sight of Cal with Krystal. It shouldn't bother me; but it does.
"Looks like Cal met Krystal," laughs Ethan nodding behind us.
"So?" I snap, as his eyes widen in surprise.
"If you like that kinda thing," he said as we sped away.
"Many boys do, because it is easy," I point out. Ethan held his hands up, nodding in agreement. Sienna remained strangely quiet, glancing at me in the rearview mirror quizzically as we made the short journey to school. I'm relieved when we pull up, just so I could be out of the car, and away from Sienna's stares.
I didn't see Krystal for the rest of the day, but I thought about her constantly. How was it, kissing his mouth? God his hands were beautiful. I tried to concentrate in my Psychology class but just couldn't. Maybe I needed therapy myself?
The classroom door opens and Cal walks in, looking idly for an empty seat. My heart is thudding and my body is trembling from his sheer presence; but I merely stare out of the window, trying not to look where he sat. I groaned inwardly when I caught a whiff of his delicious scent, confirming that he was close. I turn back and stare hard at the front, when the teacher, Mr Gane spoke.
"I want you to do this with partners. This project will form a large part of your final mark so put as much into this as you can guys."
He shuffled his papers then glanced up at us.
"I want to know the effects of talking therapy. I want you to do this in partners, and then present to the class your findings. It is entirely up to you what you talk about but as true psychology students, you must remain confidential. I have chosen your partners for you, as I want this to be a real experience."
He called out names and eventually got to me.
"You are with Cal Fallon, Gretchen. Good luck."
I felt my stomach drop and I turned to look for him. He was sitting with his head down, sleeping.
Luke frowned, as Rosie mouthed OMG to me. All the other girls just glared at me like I was the luckiest girl in the world.
So why did I feel so scared? I gathered my things as the bell went, walking over to Cal's desk as I nudged his foot with mine. He woke with a start and looked at me through his sleepy long lashes.
Sweet Jesus and all the orphans, save me from this sexual devil.
"What do you want now?" he yawned as I took a deep breath. This was important, this was my grades. Working as a therapist was my absolute dream and I couldn't afford to mess this up at all.
"You and I are together," I babbled incoherently as he gazed at me.
"What are you talking about? You are so fucking odd sometimes."
He yawned again, this time leaning back in his chair. He rubbed his eyes and stretched, causing his t-shirt to ride up and expose the white blonde hairs on his tanned, taut stomach. He caught me staring at him and smirks, pulling his top up more.
I averted my eyes quickly, as I exhaled.
"Listen, this is serious. You are my partner in this class for this project. It means a lot to me. We have to do talking therapy...."
He was listening to me, actually listening to me.
"It's important to you?" he murmurs softly, as my heart did a cartwheel through my chest.
His voice, my God. It sounded like it was requiring serious effort for him to speak, like he was so lazy he couldn't be bothered.
"Ok, sweet. I can't really flunk class either to be honest, but I reckon you won't need me to do much will you? You seem like a bright girl."
I blink in disbelief, before I begin to lose my temper.
"I need you to do it with me, asshole. I can't talk to myself and present alone."
He laughs, a beautiful sound that makes me want to weep with longing, holding his hands up as he smirks at me again, his blond hair falling into his eyes as he sighs dejectedly.
"Tell you what, Raven. Come round to mine tonight. We will...talk," his eyes ran over me slowly before he dragged his eyes back to my face, which he continues to study. "Can you bring some pizza and beers?"
He looked at me hopefully, as I blink myself back to reality. What the actual hell was wrong with me?
"What?! I don't even know where you live," I scoff, scrunching my nose up. "Pizza and beers? Hardly what therapists do is it?"
He held his hand out.
"Give me your phone."
Again it was like a command, but this time I tried to resist.
"What for?" I demand hotly.
He groans with exasperation as he spoke slowly, as though he was addressing a child.
"Gretchen, can I have your phone so I can put my number in, so that I can text you my address, unless you want to type it in to your phone- either way I don't care. I've got stuff to do till seven, can you come after that?"
I handed him my phone, regretting it instantly when he saw my screensaver. My cheeks burned as I realised it was of me and Luke. He lifted his eyebrows as he exhaled slowly, typing away. I watched his fingers touch my screen, and for once I was envious of a piece of technology.
"Done," he muttered with annoyance, tossing my phone at me.
I manage to catch it as he lifts himself out of his seat with ease, the muscles on his arms showing through the thin fabric of his t-shirt. He caught me staring for the second time that day, I realise, my cheeks burning when he chuckles to himself, making me wonder what the hell he found so damn amusing.
"Babe, I thought you were in here..."
Luke walks back into the classroom, his voice trailing off when he sees Cal standing in front of me.
"Sup Cal? I see you got my girl as your partner, make sure you get any secrets out of her won't you?"
He laughed heartily and I cringed when he laced his fingers through mine. Cal looked at Luke, in mock excitement.
"Ooh, I'm sure she is a deep ocean of secrets."
My face flushed with embarrassment as he rolled his eyes, leaving the room as I inhaled the last of his scent. He was annoyingly attractive, yet clearly obnoxious. I turned to Luke who was staring after him too, for reasons I didn't wish to know.
"Sorry you got him. Want me to have a word with Mr Gane? Maybe we can convince him to give you someone semi human," he mutters as his arms circled me. I breathed in his scent, nothing like Cal's but somewhat still safe and comforting.
"It's ok, I think I can handle him," I murmurs as he strokes my hair affectionately.
I had a boyfriend, and this was strictly schoolwork. So why was my stomach in knots?