Let's Break the Rules
“Brandon what the hell!” I complained as I struggled off his tightly wrapped arms around me. He just suddenly hugged me out of nowhere. I’m so annoyed right now. He thinks he can sway me by this fake sweet gesture?
“I don’t want to look at your damn face right now. Let go and get lost.” I spat, but my tone didn’t sound all that commanding at all. In fact, it sounded like the total opposite.
“Fine,” he mumbled. Then he twirled me around so he was facing my back. He locked his arms around my shoulders and buried his face on my neck. “Then don’t look at me. Just listen to what I have to say,” he pleaded.
This is ridiculous what we’re doing. It’s stupid and I feel like crying all over again. I don’t get him at all. What’s wrong with us both?
This is getting too dramatic for me.
I stood still and remained quiet. He took that as a sign that I was listening, so he began. “I’m sorry. I just went along with your lead. I was too harsh. I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean anything I said back there.”
He’s just saying that to save face and to fool me again. He’s just scared of losing his only opponent in our dumb game.
“I know you probably won’t believe me,” he said as if he read my mind just now. “But you started it. You told Sam we were just doing stuff for fun. I mean, I know we are, but still, I don’t think... I was actually...” He began trailing off his words.
I kept quiet as he mustered up the courage to continue what he was saying. He sighed. I shivered when his warm breath tickled the nape of my neck. “Before you said anything to Sam, I was about to say... Yeah, I did consider dating you seriously.”
My pulse stopped for a second there. Was this another trick? A tactic? Or was this real?
How long is he going to leave me confused? I’m sick of it already. I’m sick of not being sure of anything.
“But not now,” he said. I held my breath for some reason I won’t admit. “I like what we have right now. And none of us confessed to each other yet, so you won’t leave me for Sam, right? Right?”
I noticed how his voice showed a hint of a tremble. He was speaking out of nervousness. Like he was scared of losing something.
I can’t tell if he’s acting or if he’s just going with the flow of the moment.
I’m scared to believe it’s real. Because if it’s not, I know I’ll be disappointed again. I won’t be too hopeful this time, I won’t expect anything. Playing safe is more assuring, and this way I won’t meet any disappointments.
I’ve had this way of thinking since my dad left us years ago. No one can exactly blame me for being what I am today.
I held the arm that was around my shoulder and rested my cheek against it. I wonder why I always lower my guard around him. I trust him, but at the same time I don’t. “Do you like being with me?”
I needed to know, at least.
He stopped for a moment, maybe surprised by my question. I felt him nodding his head from behind. “Of course.”
“Don’t you get tired of my mean, sarcastic comments?”
“No,” he chuckled. “I enjoy arguing with you even if I know I always lose.”
“Don’t you hate it when I punch you, kick you or harm you in anyway, conscious or not?”
He sighed. I don’t know what expression he was making. He hugged me tighter from behind and somehow, I was starting to calm down. “First, don’t label me a masochist for saying this. I don’t hate it. But I don’t exactly like it either. But it’s fine with me anyway. I don’t mind if it’s you.”
I slowly nodded, unsure whether to believe his replies or not. I still trust him. Sorta. But at least, it gave me some peace of mind for the time being.
“I want to see your face now,” I mused.
He complied immediately. He gently twirled me around again, and as soon as we were facing each other, his hands fell down to my wrists.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, looking at my feet. I’m so awkward at apologizing.
“I’m sorry too,” he replied. “I didn’t mean any of it, okay? I just said those things because I was annoyed. I don’t want to give you to Sam.”
I stared at him a bit surprised and a bit confused. He was misunderstanding something here. “But you don’t have me.”
I knew he knew what I meant.
“Yeah I do,” he smiled. He finally smiled. It’s just so relieving. My face unconsciously mirrored his expression. Damn it.
“Listen, Brandon,” I looked down again, embarrassed to look at him in the eye for what I’m about to ask. Ooh boy. “Do you like me?”
He didn’t say a word. Silence was his reply for a few seconds. I hid a bitter smile. What was I thinking? Way to make the situation more awkward Mira.
“Do I have to answer that now?” He said. My eyes were still glued to the floor until he held my chin up so he could look at my eyes. “I’m gonna lose the game if I say it, right? I’m not giving up that easily.”
I don’t know what to think of that. But somehow, I think I was the one losing. I’m losing. I’m definitely losing. I have to turn the tables around soon.
Brandon cupped my cheeks. He brushed his thumb softly near my eyes, staring at me with his eyes narrowed softly. “Did you cry?”
“Nope.” I was quick to reply.
He knew better.
A guilt-stricken expression crossed his face as he pulled me into a warm embrace again. He ran his fingers through my hair before he pulled away to look at me. He looked down. “I’m sorry.”
“Doesn’t matter,” I waved an airy hand. I don’t want to remember my scene at the bathroom. Just thinking about how hopeless I’ve been makes me sick and drown myself in self-pity.
Brandon seemed like he was gonna argue, but he dropped it, probably knowing how pointless it was to argue with someone like me. He placed his hands on my waist and pressed his forehead on mine.Why was he so touchy today? Not that I mind though... “So, are we okay now?”
I don’t know. Are we?
“Yeah. Sure. Totally.” I replied.
“You can punch me if you want,” he suggested, turning his head and pointing at his cheek. I snorted.
“You are a masochist.”
He quickly returned to his original posture. “No, I just feel like I deserve a punch in the face for making you cry. I know you hate crying that much. Just punch me. I know you want to d- ”
I didn’t let him finish. I gave him a hard right hook on his cheek. He was asking for it wasn’t he? I felt relieved after punching him. I felt like me again. Good.
He groaned as he took a step back, balancing himself and quickly trying to recover from the sudden impact. He massaged his jaw while giving me a look as if saying ‘I wasn’t prepared yet.’ I shook my shoulders, feeling satisfied.
I took a breath before forcing a smile at him. We’re okay now but it still feels a bit tense. “Now we’re even.”
He returned my smile.
We exited the classroom and he led me to his car. He was gonna drive me back home like the usual.
“Aren’t you worried about Nichole?” He asked as he buckled my seat belt.
I shrugged again, sighing at that. “Yeah. I know she’s mad because I lied to Sam - ”
I stopped midway in my sentence because my mouth was saying whatever it wants. Brandon was looking at me, I gulped and pretended like I did that abrupt pause on purpose. I pretended like I dropped something and picked it up. Then I smoothly continued.
“I was just shocked because he suddenly said he liked me and he asked you that question and I just panicked. And, it’s partly your fault too because you went along with it but in the extremely painful way.”
Oh gosh. What was I really about to say? Did he notice?
He sighed as he started the car. He sounded so bothered. “I know. We’ll apologize together. God, she’s like our mom or something.”
I laughed, agreeing with him. “Let’s give her some time to cool down first. I’m sure Leo took her somewhere today. Wanna go somewhere too?” I asked, hopefully.
I don’t know. I just felt like I lost something after that small fight. I felt the need to get it back, though I’m not sure what it was.
“Sure,” he immediately replied. “I know a good place.”
I stared at him in disbelief as I folded my arms against my chest. He threw his bag on the floor and collapsed on the bed as if he just had a really rough day.
“My room, Brandon?” I said. “When you said you knew a good place you meant my room?”
He grinned at me mischievously like he knew what my reaction was gonna be. Jerk. “Yeah. It’s comfortable and private.”
Private. Private to do what.
“Oooh,” he sang. “I wonder what’s running in your head.”
I hid a blush before taking a pillow and throwing it at his face. Damn it, making me flustered over something like this.
I kicked my shoes off and lied down on the soft mattress. I sighed contentedly as I rubbed my cheek against my cold pillow. Ahh. My bed is the best.
He shifted from his position and scooted closer to me. Knowing what he wanted to do, I turned my back at him and slid my arm under my pillow. I’m not gonna do what he wants. No way.
I felt his body heat on my back and I admit I felt nervous. This happened several times before. Why am I still nervous?
This is so strange. It’s as if nothing happened earlier at all.
I was expecting him to do something playful again but he didn’t. Instead, he just quietly lied there, doing nothing. He wasn’t even touching me. Or hugging me. Or playing with my hair.
I tried to steal a glance at him from the corner of my eye but it was impossible and a stupid idea.
This is so weird. He’s not making any body-contact at all. He’s usually so touchy. Was he restraining himself? Was he just tired?
I wonder why I want him to hug me again. What. Did I actually like cuddling?
He was quiet for a while now. Was he asleep? “Brandon?”
No reply. I just heard him breathing quietly and steadily behind me. I guess he was asleep then.
I slowly turned my body around so I won’t wake him up in the process. I want to play with his face and poke the spot where I hit him earlier, all while he’s asleep.
When I accomplished my mission of turning around, I met a pair of open eyes and an annoying toothy grin.
“I thought you were asleep,” I concealed my surprise with a dull tone. He chuckled, the vibration from his chest sent tingles to my skin.
“Fall asleep that fast and with you in the bed? No way.”
I rolled my eyes. Smart ass.
“Say,” he started. His voice was so low.
I missed the way he talked like that. And I wanted to touch his cheek. The spot where I hit him was still pinkish, but I don’t think it’ll bruise. I feel bad for hitting him now. I don’t understand why I just adored him right now. “What if you do come to like me?”
I averted from his gaze to save myself from creating another embarrassing expression. I wish he didn’t ask that. “Then I lose.”
He took my hand and played with my fingers. His hand was so warm. “What if we already like each other but we’re just not admitting it because of this game we’re playing?”
What was he implying?
I was silent, honesty not knowing what to say. What’s the safest thing to say anyway?
He laughed softly. “What happens after one of us confesses?”
I don’t know.
“What if none of us wants to admit it?”
I don’t know.
“Will you still be my potato?”
I looked up and saw that he was grinning. I laughed at him before pinching his cheek. So he was just joking. Phew. Oh damn. I think I just shortened my life-span.
“You’re so dramatic potato,” I said. But I was obviously just dodging the subject.
He rested his hand on my waist and slowly shifted closer, like the tiny distance between us was still too much. “Is Sam more handsome than me?”
“What?” I giggled, surprised with his sudden question.
He shrugged. “I think I’m more handsome. What do you think?”
I couldn’t control my giggles. Was he serious? “You’re so vain.”
“No, really,” he insisted playfully. “Who do you like more between the two of us?”
Stop right there.
This was a trap.
I poked his nose with my finger - on his nose, not inside his nostrils okay? That’s just gross. “I don’t know. I wonder who?”
We both laughed, both concealing our questions and our answers with jokes and smiles.
We were still laughing, our gazes fixed on each other. He closed his mouth into a boyish smile before leaning in for a kiss.
It was just a slight brush on the lips. Just a tiny bit of contact.
And it wasn’t enough.
Before I knew it, our lips were already locked on each other. I held his shirt and pulled him closer, his hand was on my back, pushing me closer as well.
He can’t just kiss me like that and expect me not to want more.
A little while later, we pulled out to catch our breaths. We looked at each other’s faces and laughed. We looked so frantic and I don’t know if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but everything just looked so steamy somehow.
He smirked at me before sitting up. I watched him confused until he pressed his chest against mine. He settled on top of me, straddling my hips and making it completely impossible for me to escape.
We were fooling around again but I don’t care. This was our way of releasing all the tension that transpired over the past few days, and especially earlier today. I don’t want to stop now that we’ve started.
He began kissing me again, his hand gently playing with my hair, his other hand cupping my cheek.
Feeling his weight over me, I got more excited about what’s to come next, and just a little bit afraid.
He pulled away and started trailing butterfly kisses on my neck. I sighed as I held the back of his head, then bit my lip when I felt him leaving a mark. I faintly groaned in complaint.
“Stop. Don’t leave - ”
I stopped when he pressed his lips on mine again, literally shutting me up. I liked it. I liked kissing him. So much it makes me wonder the hell was wrong with me.
When I felt his hand slip inside my shirt, I gasped and shivered under his touch. I felt alarmed all of a sudden. I panicked.
“Brandon,” I mumbled, breaking our kiss. He didn’t stop. “Brandon.”
“Mm,” he replied, working his way to the other side of my neck and his hand still exploring the inside of my shirt.
“The rules,” I barely managed to say. I was just saying that as an excuse. I didn’t care about the rules.
He sat up, looked at me with a smirk on his face and pulled his shirt off, revealing a glorious sight in which I always denied liking. Denial was clearly not in my mind today, and especially not on my face. He leaned in to kiss me again before quickly tugging my own shirt up.
I panicked again and stopped his hand. He kissed my earlobe and I don’t know what came over me, but I eventually helped him undress myself.
It was like he cast a spell on me. A dangerous spell that made me drop all the restrictions I’ve set on myself and between the two of us.
“Rules are just there for display,” he said huskily as he dived into another big kiss.
Our bare skins were brushing against each other and it was warm. More than warm actually, it was hot. So hot it almost felt like my skin burned by his touch alone.
I felt my confidence rise back up. What’s the point of rules? Everybody breaks them anyway. Why did we even create rules that were hard to follow?
I pushed his chest away and reversed our positions so I was on top. It was only right for me to be on top, right?
He had this pleased and playful glint on his eye when I started doing to him what he did to me. I kissed him over and over again as my fingers traced on his tight skin back and forth.
It still wasn’t enough.
He was holding me still as I helped myself with his lips. Both of us knew this wasn’t going to stop anytime soon.
I already knew what I felt about him, but because of the game, I won’t admit it. Not before him. I’m afraid of what might happen when the game’s over. I’ll have no excuse anymore.
I’m scared of something. That’s why I won’t admit it to him. Not yet.
I’m not sure about Brandon. Frankly speaking I still don’t get him and he still leaves me confused about him most of the time. But I was already sure about myself. I realized it a long time ago but I’m only going to acknowledge it now.
All those questions I kept asking myself. I already knew the answer but my pride wouldn’t admit it. I can at least admit it to myself for now, because denial was keeping me exhausted everyday.
I like him.
I like Brandon.
But I don’t want to tell him first. I’m really not sure if he feels the same. So that’s why I need to keep this game going so I still have an excuse to be with him. I’m scared of being rejected again. I’m scared he’ll leave me like my dad did.
Honestly, he’s the only one who made me admit all of my fears to myself when I was too stubborn to accept it.
I’m just scared.
I got myself into some deep shit as soon as I agreed on playing this game with him.
“Still worried about the rules?” He asked. He probably noticed the conflicted look on my face. I shook my head and smiled at him, then softly pressed my lips on his again.
I’ll just enjoy this moment while it lasts. We still have time. Wherever this thing is going, guess I’ll just have to wait and see. Oh well, another heartbreak it is then.
A/N: Thank me. I uploaded early for you, my lovely potatoes. I have my finals tomorrow until Wednesday, and this is my way of making up for being late, and for being late in the future. Mwa.
Trivia: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, I have nothing to throw at the doctor to keep him away now because I just ate it.