After School Club

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XXVI - Good Girl + Bad Boy

(A/N - Last chapter!!!! 😭😅 so enjoyed writing this book, stay in tune for the important A/N for new romance novels announcement 💕😊)

It’s months later now, in mid-July. GCSE’s are over, much to everyone’s relief. The results are going to be shared in August, but we all worked our hardest - even Maddox - though he insists it was mostly due to my tutoring him. He made sure that schoolwork and studying didn’t interfere with his after school club though - even if we’re already dating, he made sure it kept on going.

So far, we haven’t heard anything from Kayleigh or Jared, and I’m pretty sure it’ll stay like that. Audrey claims that Jared’s nowhere to be seen around school and Kayleigh’s backed off, which is fine by all of us. We all put in applications for the same college, and Melissa crosses her fingers whenever its mentioned, hoping that we get to dorm together.

Dad’s currently getting help for his depression - and he is improving, slowly but surely. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I can’t help thinking that maybe, just maybe, my family’s starting to get back to normal.

It’s dark outside but humid, softly glowing neon lights illuminating the hall, where all the Year 11′s are at prom. Even Audrey and Sebastian managed to ease their way in; Carmen and Melissa chatting by the snacks table, Lavinia and Leroy whispering amongst each other and Audrey and Sebastian laughing and chatting to Beth. We’re all pretty much friendly - most of us anyway - and I’m actually starting to question myself as a wallflower, what with gaining confidence to speak up a little more and branch out. A bit late now, I guess, since this is pretty much the last day of high school. But then college is just around the corner, so who knows what that’ll be like.

“Esme, did you hear a word I just said?”

I blink, looking up at Maddox as he raised a brow and smirked in amusement. “What are you thinking about?”

I smile slightly and shrug. “I don’t know, just... how much things have changed?”

“Yeah,” Maddox agrees, leaning against a wall and glancing at the other students all clustered about the dance floor. “But if by things you’re talking about yourself, you didn’t. You just discovered yourself.” He smirks then, flicking his blonde hair out of his eyes. “You’re welcome, by the way.”

I roll my eyes but smile. “Yeah, actually - a lot of it’s down to you, I guess.”

Maddox gives me a half-smile, lazily wrapping an arm around my shoulders and pulling me closer. “Esme?”

“Yeah?”

“What do you say we... you know,” Maddox starts, nodding to the entrance, “get out of here a little early, huh?”

I smile and nod, and he takes my hand in his before leading us away and out of the premises, exchanging brief goodbyes to our friends. Audrey widens her eyes and gives me a look as if to say, ‘you better text me!’

Lavinia and Leroy nod and wave at us from their position in the crowd, before going back to their conversation. Who the heck would’ve shipped those former enemies? None other than Maddox Cole, of course.

He drives us back to our street, and I unlock the front door to my house, quickly going upstairs to my room and avoiding any chance of interaction with my parents. Grabbing a random hoodie from my closet and some leggings I change out of the dress I was previously wearing for the event in the bathroom. When I reenter my room, Maddox smirks and points at me accusingly, lying on top of my bed in a carefree manner.

“I lent you that hoodie months ago, Esmerelda?”

I look down at the deep red hoodie, then back up at him with a light smile, faking confusion. “You did?”

He rolls his eyes then, seeing right through my expression. “Yeah, I did. When we were doing that English project, and you met Mason, and then it started raining outside.”

“Okay, okay - do you want it back?”

“Didn’t say that,” Maddox objects, pulling me down on the bed beside him. “So. How do you feel about college?”

I bite my lip at the subject and shake my head. “I’m not sure. We just have to wait for a response. But I’m pretty sure we’ll get accepted. All Audrey cares about is dorming together.”

Maddox smiles. “All I care about is keeping the fun streak. Gonna have to get started with making an after college club now.”

“I’m sure you will. Don’t worry, adulthood isn’t always boring. You’ll find a way to keep the fun alive. You’ve made it this far.”

“Uh, we made it this far. You toyed with that waiter amazingly the first day, remember?”

“Yeah,” I smile, “I remember being forced into it.”

Maddox scoffs then, sitting up slightly and looking straight at me with a raised brow. “No one can force anyone to do anything. Well, I can, but only when I want to. And only with you.”

I raise my brows and fold my arms. “No, you can’t.”

“Sure I can. I’ll prove it.” He smirks proudly. “Stop talking.”

“What? No!- don’t be a-”

Maddox cuts me off by pushing his lips onto mine, wrapping his arms tightly around my waist. Something I can’t resist, no matter how much I tell myself to; completely melting under his touch. He, of course, uses this to his advantage - only breaking away for a moment for air. Maddox smiles, sage-green eyes wandering my face.

“I told you I could,” he whispered, before kissing me again, deeper but tenderly. “Bad boys always can.”

“Okay, you proved your point,” I said, trying to push him off me but failing, “stop!- my parents could walk in any minute, you know.”

“Which’ll make them easy witnesses of my point,” Maddox responds with a smile; mischief then glinting in his gaze as he lightly squeezed my waist. I jumped and pushed him harder, a red blush smearing over my cheeks.

As if on cue, my mum knocks lightly on my door before opening it, taken aback slightly when she notices Maddox in the room too. “Wow, I never thought you’d be the type of girl to have a boy in a bedroom - alone,” she jokes, and I roll my eyes. Maddox grins, sitting up and winking at me.

“And I’m off. See you around, Essie.” Maddox nods at us before going downstairs and leaving the house, my mum watching after him and then looking back at me in bemusement.

“Here’s Patricia banging on about how good you are,” mum says with a smile, shaking her head, “I’m kidding.”

"Yes, you are,” I told her with a smile, getting up and grabbing a book. “Just because I’m not in high school anymore, doesn’t mean I won’t do maths and stuff when I feel like it.” I open it up and take a pen, and mum laughs and leaves the room.

I glance out of the window, watching Maddox enter his house and close the door behind him. Then I look back down at the book, taking off the pen lid and smiling widely at a single sentence I write in a random answer space.

Good Girl + Bad Boy = Total Madness.

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