“Cute dress, where did you get it?” Alice asked, picking at a corner of Quinn’s sleeve with two painted fingernails.
“It’s vintage, I got it from that store in town.” Quinn smiled, one eyebrow raised slightly.
“Cute,” Alice let go, moving a step back as she turned around to her locker and the Cheerio who had been standing by it. “Looks like something my grandmother would wear,” she whispered to the other girl.
Quinn, who had been turning back to her own locker, froze. “I can hear you Alice,” she said icily, slamming the door shut and causing most people in the hallway to look back at the pair.
“Oh, shame,” Alice leaned against the metal of the locker doors, looking down at her nails casually. “I care, why?”
With a frustrated huff Quinn marched forward, jabbing one finger into Alice’s chest. “You’re a bitch, you know that? A complete bitch. I cannot believe I was ever like you.”
“What, popular? A cheerleader? Better than you? You know Quinn you’ve totally let yourself go,” Alice casted a critical eye over Quinn’s body, tutting loudly.
“Totally,” the brunette Cheerio by Alice’s shoulder whispered.
“I don’t care what you think,” Quinn hissed. “I don’t care what any of you think.”
“That’s where you’re wrong Quinnie,” Alice batted away Quinn’s hand, “you care what we think. You care what the whole school thinks, you just pretend you don’t because you’re not at the top anymore. I totally am.”
With an angry growl, Quinn reached out grabbing Alice by the ponytail. Alice, shrieking, clawed at Quinn’s arms, pushing her away as people in the corridor began crowding round them, cheers of ‘Fight!’ filling the air.
It was a fact, Hayden had a thing for Jesse’s neck. Not just his neck of course, Hayden a thing for all of Jesse, but his neck was an easy accessible point. He liked biting, licking, sucking and kissing. He liked looking at it as Jesse stretched out, or touching the soft skin there and feeling the throb of a pulse against his fingertips.
Not only that but he loved seeing wet, red marks decorating the pale skin. It was like a sign saying ‘Hayden was here’ and ‘mine’ all rolled into one. He couldn’t help but stare whenever he caught sight of marks he had left the previous night, especially when they just peaked out from underneath clothing. It was subtle and hot and Hayden thought Jesse unbuttoned his shirt like that on purpose because he had to know what seeing those love bites did to him.
This particular time, Jesse had arrived early in Ohio and, after a quick make-out session in the backseat of Jesse’s car during Hayden’s last free period, they headed to practice together. He hadn’t even realised he’d left a mark, too caught in the heat of the moment and Jesse and the feeling of arms and hands and lips, but there it was. Peaking out just from beneath Jesse’s t-shirt was a fresh red love bite.
“Sparks!” Dakota shouted distracting Hayden’s attention from the cream skin of Jesse’s throat and the contrasting red bite.
“Yeah?” He asked, looking at Dakota, eyes darting sideways to Jesse who was now watching the two of them cautiously.
“Laps. Five of them. Listen to me next time.” Dakota glared up at Hayden. “Now Sparks!”
With a sigh Hayden got up, moving past Jesse and brushing his fingers along the line of Jesse’s shoulder, stopping at the dip of his throat and the love bite.
Jesse, who had shuddered at the contact, looked at Hayden from underneath his lashes. “You should pay more attention Hay.”
“I’ll be sure to remember that,” Hayden said softly, quirking a smile as he directed his gaze up to Jesse’s face. “Meet me in the costume cupboard in five? Dakota doesn’t notice if I do the laps or not.”
Jesse rolled his eyes. “Make it two, and only quickly.”
“A quickie is all I need right now, we have all night later.” Hayden winked, jogging on towards the costume cupboard and already thinking of other places he could make some marks.
“Jesus fucking christ it’s freezing,” Hayden said as he came up behind Jesse, resting his chin on a shoulder and shoving his already numb hands into Jesse’s pockets.
“This is what you get for not dressing properly, I told you it was going to be cold,” Jesse admonished but Hayden could also hear the smile in his voice as he squeezed him tighter.
“Yeah yeah,” Hayden grumbled knowing that Jesse was right and he had in fact warned Hayden that morning it would be colder than the arctic. “Dude, at least gimme your scarf.”
“Give you my scarf?” Jesse asked sounding half scandalised by the suggestion. “But then I’d be cold.” But he was slowly reaching up to unwind it, hands moving backwards to loop a part round Hayden’s neck so they could share it instead.
Hayden murmured happily as the soft wool, still warm from Jesse’s body heat, wrapped around his neck. “You’re the best, man.”
“Obviously,” Jesse said.
Hayden pulled the car carefully into a parking space, shutting off the engine and putting the handbrake on. With one last quick look in the mirror, he grabbed his things and got out.
He was supposed to be meeting Harry and Pratik at Parrie’s for a quick coffee before the team/blu gig started.
He’d meet Pratik only the once, that time he had come round Chris’s apartment to watch films with the rest of them. He was a quiet guy, the sort that made Hayden slightly nervous because you could never tell what they were thinking. There was a reason people said it was always the quiet ones.
Harry on the other hand was a complete open book. His body language was always warm and open and his mother hen tendencies reminded Hayden of Chris. He made Hayden laugh and feel safe which was rare tendency around people.
But when it came to the both of them together they were like stars caught in each other’s gravity. He wondered if he and Jesse were a lot like that and assumed they probably were. Constantly aware of the other’s presence and always feeling the lack of them when they were not around. It was hard not to look at that thing they had together and feel so fucking glad he had Jesse.
Jesse was his exception and Hayden was pretty sure it was like that with Harry and Pratik. No one else would have ever fitted into that space in their lives so seamlessly.
So it hurt, seeing them together while Jesse was states away, thousands of miles between them. But he was also kinda glad; Pratik did tend to eye his boyfriend with something akin to wonder. Hayden was definitely going to have to figure that one out.
Vocal Adrenaline had been having a team night out to the movies, significant others invited as well, when the whole evening had fell into turmoil as some jock shouted ‘Homo!’ towards Jim and Henry.
“Woah, what?” Hayden demanded, already moving towards the large teen that was surrounded by three other boys.
“Hey!” Lauren shouted as she grasped a hold of Hayden’s jacket, Sunny doing the same to the other side. “Morons!” She called out, scowling fiercely.
Giselle had already moved instinctively in front of Henry while Chris had pushed himself to the front of the group, one hand at Hayden’s chest to hold him back and the other directed to the teens opposite.
“Takes one to know one,” he called out smugly.
“Bastards!” Hayden shouted, struggling to get free from his team mates grip. “I’ll fucking show them what a homo is!”
“That doesn’t even make sense Hay,” Sunny frowned, confused, “what, you’re going to kiss them?”
“I think he probably meant shove something large and metal up their ass,” Tori said, one eyebrow raised.
“Oh god,” Henry groaned, burying his face into Jim’s neck who was looking bemused at the whole thing. “Kill me James, do it now.”
“I think it’s quite adorable actually,” Jim commented, patting Henry on the back.
“Fucking bastards,” Hayden grumbled in the background.
“I hate you all,” Henry muttered, secretly smiling into Jim’s neck
As soon as Hayden stepped out of the coffee shop, he rang Jesse.
“Dude, I just had the most surreal experience,” he said as soon as the phone was answered.
“And what’s that?” Jesse’s voice came back, slightly tinny but Hayden could still hear the smirk in it.
“I was getting a coffee and this really hot girl was hitting on me and I said ‘I have a boyfriend in college’.”
There was a long moment of silence before a sudden burst of startled laughter before another pause.
“That was surreal?” Jesse asked. “What do you normally do when girls hit on you?”
“Well sometimes I flirt back if they’re not serious or I’ll tell them I’m with someone but… I’ve never said that before. It was… It was good,” Hayden said confused. “I’m totally with an older guy.”
“I’m only two years older than you,” Jesse said voice still full of laughter.
“You’re in college though man, that makes a difference.”
There was a soft sigh from down the phone, “you’re so fucking adorable sometimes, you know that?”
“I fucking am not! You take that back you bastard!”
Jesse laughed again, “You really are Hay, just go with it, it suits you.”
“Sexy, not cute,” Hayden sulked.
“Sexy and cute,” Jesse agreed.
“More tea?” Eliot asked, lifting up the teapot carefully.
Giselle smiled widely, suppressing the giggles that wanted to emerge. “I would love some more tea,” she held up her cup and saucer, watching carefully as he poured the tea into it. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a tea party in a blanket fort before.”
Eliot pulled a face as he set the teapot back down, grabbing one of the cupcakes from the fancy little cupcake stand he’d asked Tina to pick up for him. “Never? It’s such a wonderful thing though!”
Giselle, gazing around the small space, brightly lit with lamps and fairy lights, pillows making up the floor and light white blankets providing the walls, nodded. “It is, isn’t it?”
“Good date so far then?” Eliot asked, leaning back against the large pillow next to her.
“Quite good, it depends on what you have planned for the rest of the date,” she grinned, sipping delicately from the china cup.
“Well,” Eliot said, finger and thumb on his chin as he pretended to think. “There’s some campfire stories, and then I was thinking we could play pirates, and after that we can watch Peter Pan on my mini projector?” He indicated to the small device that was facing a smooth white blanket at the back of the fort.
“That sounds perfect,” Giselle beamed happily.
It was late in the day, the sun starting its long winding path down the sky making way for the rise of the moon. The air was still sticky with heat, the sun-warmed planks of wood beneath her back sending her into a lulled state with little energy to do more than just breathe. Buzzing insects echoing out from the long reeds of grass across from the house and sound of crackling ice in the glass next to her created a symphony together for the tune of their summer.
Lazily, she tilted her head to the side, sunglasses slipping down her nose. Spying the sun-kissed body next to her, she cast a long look over the form, admiring the lean curves and shapes.
Sharp, well-defined muscles drawing up to the soft skin of his neck, marked red from her kisses. His lips were parted, slack as he breathed on unaware of her gaze, chest falling and rising steadily in a constant reassuring rhythm.
Eyelashes fell against tanned cheeks, fluttering gently as dreams moved through his mind.
With careful movements, Tina rolled over, settling her head on Nate’s shoulder and wrapping her arm over his stomach. The warm body pressed against her side, the sun beating down over the both of them, the gentle hum of nature surrounding them, this was summer to her.
Jesse had only been gone one second to fetch them some drinks, and really, he figured, not even Hayden could got into that much trouble in a second, but then again, this was Hayden he was talking about. The guy seemed to attract all sorts of trouble just by breathing; whether it was the unfortunate demise of gym equipment that left Hayden with a glorious bruise in the shape of a the milky way galaxy or accidentally getting into a disagreement with some well muscled bikers, Jesse just felt his worry was extremely deserved.
In this case, it seemed that Hayden had managed to attract the attention of one of more painfully annoying members of the St. James clan. With both glasses in hand and the already nagging feeling that came with having to talk to this particular relative, Jesse quickly maneuvered his way through the room towards his boyfriend and the unwanted guest.
Paul St. James had been a constant thorn in his side ever since they were little. His cousin had taken a shine to Jesse that meant he followed him simply everywhere, copied nearly everything (and to a much lesser degree of excellence) he did and practically grated on Jesse’s last nerve every time they interacted. While most of the members of the family would chuckle over their similarities, Jesse simply refuted the fact Paul could be anything like him. He was the one and only Jesse St. James after all.
“So I was like… Oh hey Jess,” Paul broke off as Jesse approached, deftly placing himself at Hayden’s side and offering him the glass of wine he had procured.
“Paul,” Jesse nodded curtly allowing one hand to slide along the small of Hayden’s back. He smiled slightly at the feeling of Hayden relaxing under his touch and rubbed his hand softly along corded muscles.
“I was just talking to Hayden about my awesome idea,” Paul waggled his eyebrows and Jesse fought back the urge to snort, Hayden not being so successful.
“Oh yeah, what is that Paul?” Jesse asked. He took a moment to look Paul over, taking in the grey of his suit and green scarf he was currently sporting with a smirk.
“Some sort of singing consultant for those little show choirs, like the one you were in, remember that?” Paul shifted on his feet and Jesse frowned as his cousin leaned further towards Hayden.
“Yeah Jess, remember that?” Hayden said softly, the edge of a laugh in his voice and Jesse felt tempted to swat him on the head lightly but resisted as Paul watched them.
“Yes Paul,” Jesse grated out, “I remember fairly well. Why don’t you get a drink, the alcohol could only help.”
“With these party losers yeah,” Paul grinned as he nudged Hayden with one shoulder, staying there after having done so. “I see you as the type of guy whose good at parties.”
“I didn’t mean it that way,” Jesse said under his breath as he dragged Hayden closer to his side wishing he could do something but rather aware of his relatives scattered throughout the room. All that flew out the window though when Paul seemed to press his face against Hayden’s head.
“Goddammit Paul, are you sniffing his hair?!” Jesse hissed incredulously as Hayden startled against him.
“Smells yummy,” Paul said as Jesse continued to stare agape at him.
“Dude, I’m trying to not freak out here cause you said I wasn’t allowed but seriously Jess?” Hayden whispered frantically to him. Jesse grasped at Hayden’s hand setting it comfortable around his own waist before swinging his arm around Hayden’s shoulders.
“Go stare at the pretty lights in the chandelier Paul,” Jesse said, feeling Hayden’s startled laughter from his side.
“Is that a drink?” Paul asked and Jesse practically facepalmed wondering how he could even be related to an idiot like this. “But seriously you should beat it, we were getting to know each other, right Hay?”
“You’re hitting on my boyfriend in front of me?”
“Hey,” Hayden protested but Jesse shushed him.
“Yeah, got a problem with it? You should MYOB or come at me bro, we can have a sing off,” Paul put up his fists, ducking and weaving as though he was fighting an imaginary opponent.
Jesse could feel Hayden start protest, no doubt with a maximum amount of swear words possible but he quickly nudged him in the side.
“Haven’t been humiliated enough in the past Paul?” He asked, one eyebrow raised in what he liked to call the sarcastic look #5. (Hayden tended to call it the other sexy look and Jesse was also quite okay with that name). “You practically look like you’re in pain when you sing, it ruins the effect completely.”
Paul swiped the scarf over his shoulder with a sniff. “If you’d prefer the better St. James, you can find me with the drinks,” he winked at Hayden, made a suggestive hand movement and strode off.
“What the fuck was that?” Hayden asked after he was gone.
“Long story,” Jesse said breathing out in relief. He quickly turned his head to press a small kiss to Hayden’s temple before letting go completely, they were after all at a St. James gathering and displays of affection were to be limited.
“He said his real name was Jesse,” Hayden laughed.
“That fucker,” Jesse swore.
“Did you hear that?” Hayden asked, cocking his head to the side as he scrambled up into a sitting position.
They were in one of the spare bedrooms in the House of Bond-age (as named by Jesse when he had accidentally stumbled across a strip of leather that Jim said was used for handcuffs) after having been forced into spending the night. Well forced would be too strong of a word, really Chris had bribed Hayden with food who had then bribed Jesse with a few suggestive looks.
“What was what?” Jesse asked, stretching out on the bed. He pulled the blanket up that had been dislodged with Hayden’s movements.
There was silence as Hayden held up a finger, waiting for… and there it was. A quiet throaty moan.
Jesse suddenly sprang up in the bed, knocking Hayden over. “Oh my god, they are not! Hayden, tell me they are not doing that! What? Why would they even…”
“Shh,” Hayden batted at Jesse’s hands, moving him over so he could get closer to the wall. “Is their room on the other side?”
“… I think so? But why? Hayden why!?” Jesse whispered loudly, clutching at Hayden’s arm in a vice-like grip.
“That’s just so wrong,” Hayden muttered as he shook his head.
“Traumatised, I’m being traumatised Hayden,” Jesse was whispering.
Hayden turned to look at Jesse as another groan was heard, this time followed by a soft laugh.
Jesse made to block his ears with his hands but Hayden grabbed them quickly, pulling them down to his lap.
“How are they having sex and we aren’t?” He demanded. “This is so wrong!”
“… you want to have sex now? While they’re…” Jesse shook his head unable to finish forming his thoughts. “Traumatising, do you not understand what that means?!”
“Dude, we’re supposed to be all sexed up not them. We could at least pretend? I’m so not letting them get away with this.”
Jesse’s blank look had Hayden snorting. “Oh yeah!” Hayden called out loudly as though he was in a porn movie of some sort. “Oh yes, yes, come on Jesse, yes!”
Jesse, who had been staring at Hayden in disbelief, tackled him around the waist until they were both lying flat on the bed. “Stop that!” he said trying to keep a straight face.
“Oh Jesse! Fuck me, yes, like that Jess!” Hayden let out a loud fake groan as he began to bounce slightly on the bed, his body moving against Jesse’s.
“God, why do I put up with you again?” Jesse whispered as he shut his eyes, shuddering slightly when their bodies made contact. “I’m not doing this. We’re not having sex.”
“God Jesse! Fuck yes!” Hayden called out again, stifling his laughter as Jesse groaned. “Yeah groan for me. Give it to me.”
There was an answering moan from next door and Hayden stopped his movements looking to Jesse who was watching the wall with a look of horror.
“Come on dude,” he whispered. “This is our reputation on the line.”
Jesse looked back down at him before rolling his eyes. “Fine, but if we’re doing this, we’re doing it right okay?”
Hayden grinned widely, “you mean actual sex?”
“No, traumatised okay? I mean stand up and start jumping. This bed has to sound like it’s breaking through that wall.”