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Chapter 2

Alice sat in front of her full-length mirror staring through her reflection. She was so deep in thought she failed to notice the clock ticking away precious minutes. Now 9:36pm, she had less than half an hour to take and send the pictures.

With a shaky hand, Alice reapplied her makeup. She told herself it wasn’t to impress him but to mask her identity under a thick coat of foundation, blush and lipstick.

A final coat of plumping gloss and Alice smacked her lips together, checking out her handiwork in the mirror. She had to admit she looked good.

‘Too good for that prick,’ she sighed inwardly.

Rolling her eyes at her reflection, Alice slipped out of her clothes and pulled on her bikini bottoms. It felt less risqué than her underwear, though the effect was no different. Leaving her chest bare as per his request, Alice looked at herself in the mirror.

As an afterthought, before picking up the camera and capturing the moment, she poked at her nipples to perk them up. Something in her memory told her that porn stars used ice to harden their nipples before shooting so they looked their best. Squeezing them had the same effect.

Posing in what she hoped were sexy positions, kneeling in front of the mirror, Alice took more shots than she intended to send him. She would scroll through and pick the best ones as she had done with the bikini shots she’d taken after breaking up with her boyfriend.

Dave had cheated on her and she’d wanted to show him what he was missing. Yes, it was childish and dumb, but she was upset and desperate to feel better, if only for a moment. At the time she hadn’t imagined guys like Adam would be perving over them. Maybe it was best to take them down.

At 9:52pm Alice quickly scrolled through the pictures, picked out the best four and sent them with. She tried not to think about what he was going to do after he received them. Maybe he wasn’t really attracted to her and was only doing it to torture her.

After a minute he replied to her message.

“Good girl,” was all he typed.

Alice scoffed and blushed.

‘Good girl?’ she thought. ‘It makes me sound like a dog.’

At least now her brother could go to school without fear and she could go about her day at college without worrying what was happening to him.

Before bed, Alice couldn’t resist checking Dave’s profile. It wasn’t like she wanted to be with him or ever take him back after he cheated, but for some reason, she couldn’t stop herself from checking what he was up to.

There was nothing new to look at. That or he’d blocked her from seeing new posts.

Alice clicked on her followers' list and scrolled through to see if Adam really was following her. It took her a moment to find him since he didn’t use his real name or have his face in his picture—just his chest.

He didn’t have many pictures of himself. Most of his profile was memes or pictures of his mates. In the only picture with his face, he was looking down and lifting his shirt to show off his abs. Alice almost wrote him off as an arrogant prick before remembering she’s done the exact same thing with the bikini pictures. It would be hypocritical to judge him. As she hovered over the picture, she discovered he’d gotten more likes than her.

‘Someone’s Mr Popular online,’ she thought, narrowing her eyes in jealousy.

After clicking back onto her own profile and deleting her more revealing pictures, Alice went to bed.

###

On the way to school, Adam almost tripped over a group of lads who were so deep in a nerdy conversation they didn’t see him. One of them turned and looked at Adam like he was Satan himself, fresh from hell to steal away his soul.

“Sorry,” the kid said in a panicked voice. He was one of what Adam called the ‘mega dorks’ who sat in the corner of the canteen playing card games at lunchtime. “I’m really sorry.”

“It’s alright,” Adam shrugged. “But if you trip me up again and I’ll send you to the shadow realm.”

The kids face changed from abject terror to confusion.

“Was that a Yugioh reference?” he gasped.

“Yeah… what? I watch TV,” Adam said.

“I’m sorry we don’t have any money,” his friend randomly interjected in a squeaky voice.

“What?” Adam frowned at them.

“Ste said if we didn’t get thirty quid by the end of the week, you’d beat us all up,” the kid explained. “And we tried but—”

“You don’t have to give that little fucker anything,” Adam interrupted. “You get me?”

The boys nodded, turned, and walked away at a faster pace.

When Adam met the boys—Ste and Gary—at the gate, he had to make a real effort to contain his anger. Ste had been pissing him off lately and getting too big for his boots. This extortion in his name was the last straw on the camel’s back.

The others didn’t seem to pick up on his grumpy mood—probably because he was more often grumpy than not.

Once Reece and his girlfriend Zoe arrived his inner group was complete, and they made their way toward class. Reece was chatting animatedly about something that had happened in the store on the way to school, but Adam paid little attention. He was focused on looking out for Jamie, who would arrive late on purpose to avoid him.

Ste was the first to notice Jamie trying to slip past the school gates. For whatever reason, Ste had always hated the guy and had instigated the bullying. Adam, in all fairness, hadn’t complained. He didn’t care who they picked on. It was all just entertainment to him.

“Aww look, his mommy must have neatened up his hair,” Ste said. He made a beeline for Jamie and grabbing at his hair.

“Oi,” Adam shouted at Ste so loudly it made him jump. “You fucking touch him again and I’ll smash your face into a bloody puddle.”

“What?” Ste asked, his voice a squeaky mixture of outrage and confusion.

“I think it looks good like this,” Adam said, looking at Jamie’s new haircut. Without that long dangly hair in his face, you could see he was actually good-looking—just like his older sister.

“I’m sorry I fucked with your hair,” Adam said to Jamie, staring into his eyes. “But it honestly looks a million times better.”

Adam could sense the confusion emanating from his mates. They didn’t know anything about this. It was a split-second decision, brought on by his anger at Ste and his promise to be kind to Jamie. The pictures from Alice had pleased him greatly and he was a man of his word.

Their confusion didn’t even come close to matching Jamie’s. The lad looked like a deer in headlights.

‘He probably thinks this is all a trick,’ Adam realised. The sadistic side of his brain thought it would be hilarious if the whole thing was a trick. Still… he wanted to keep Alice on a string. See how far he could push her.

“That said, it was a real shitty thing to do so I’m going to make it up to you,” Adam announced. “So… I’m going to let you trade places with anyone in my inner circle.”

Adam already knew who Jamie would pick. It wasn’t rocket science. The way Jamie’s eyes flickered to Ste confirmed it. Ste was the main culprit and most sadistic of the bullies. Obviously, Jamie would want to get revenge and Adam was willing to let him. It might even be fun to watch.

“What the fuck?” Ste cried.

Adam turned to him, leaned over him, and pressed his face right up close. “You fucking heard me!”

Reece, Gary and Zoe exchanged worried glances and Zoe bit her lip. There was no chance Jamie would pick her, but she looked slightly scared at the prospect. Her and Reece didn’t really get involved with Jamie, but they did look down their noses at him. Being the most popular couple at school, they acted superior and snooty with most people, but more so with Jamie.

Aware their popularity rested on Adam, Reece and Zoe were quick to side with him.

“I think you look hot like this,” Zoe said to Jamie, who looked sceptical. Adam couldn’t blame him for thinking this entire thing was a joke.

“Pick then,” Adam pressed him.

“Are you… serious?” Jamie asked. Again, his eyes jumped to Ste. The choice was obvious.

“Ste, right?” Adam confirmed. “You wanna trade places with Ste?”

Jamie made a confused, worried face but nodded slowly.

“Okay, great, welcome to the gang,” Adam smiled at Jamie. He draped his arm over the boy’s shoulder and led him into the building, sensing the watchful eyes of the teachers who had to know about the bullying but never seemed to do much about it.

“You aren’t fucking serious… come on, bruv?” Ste whined.

“Fucking… call me bruv again and I’ll end you. You’re out. I’m sick of your bullshit.”

When they got into the corridor Ste was still following them. Their footsteps echoed down the mostly empty school hallway.

“You wanna beat him up?” Adam asked Jamie, sneaking a sly look at Ste over his shoulder. Ste had this sad, dopey look on his face as if he couldn’t quite believe what was happening. “Come on. You know you want to. I’ll pin him down for you.”

“I don’t want to beat him up,” Jamie said, disappointing Adam.

Jamie suddenly stopped walking and looked up at Adam, eyes wide.

“I’d like to watch you beat him up though,” he said, phrasing the statement like a question.

Adam grinned widely.

“I knew I was going to like you.”

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Unicorn_Unicorn
holy shitt only at the beginning of this chapter andd its already sooo good! good job author ><
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