Ste was just tidying away the brushes from his art lesson when they appeared. His old gang plus his replacement. Every time he saw Jamie it felt like a kick straight to his stomach.
He’d offered to help clean up the classroom in a desperate attempt to avoid Adam and the others. Normally, they wouldn’t have thought to look for him here, being a bunch of underachieving delinquents, but Jamie was different. He was smart.
“Aren’t you the good little boy, offering to help the teacher,” Reece commented. He picked up a piece of artwork that was drying on the side, gave it a look of contention then dropped it like it was a piece of trash. After giving his input Reece turned away from the gr
Alice was sitting in an English lesson when she received the dreaded message.“At 11am you will call me for phone sex.”‘Phone sex??!!’ Alice cried internally. ‘I can’t have phone sex! What even is phone sex?’11am was break time at Adam’s school. Alice knew this since she’d gone to the same place before deciding to give it up in favour of the local college. Her school offered the same choices, but something about going to college made her feel grown-up. Independent.
On the walk to the bus stop, Alice was still deep in thought about Alek. Was it possible the TA was attracted to her? Or was Joseph just being Joseph.She was concentrating so intensely that she failed to notice Josh trying to get her attention. Glancing up, she frowned as she found him waving his art folder at her, saying, “Hello, world to Alice.”“Sorry, Josh,” Alice said, wondering why Josh had dashed over and flagged her down. Aside from the odd hello or sporadic conversations about paintbrushes, they hadn’t really spoken before.“Hey Alice, I sent you a friend request,&rd
When Dad dropped her at home Alice waved bye and rushed into the house. After an unseasonably warm Autumn, the weather was just beginning to cool down and the first signs of frost were appearing, glittering the tips of lawns and the edges of car windows.A blanket of warm air enveloped Alice as she entered her home. She searched the house for Jamie and found him in his room.“That was a real dick move,” she scolded him, bursting into his bedroom without walking.“Learn to knock,” Jamie tutted.
Ste squeezed through the crack in the fence, his trainers sliding on the wet mud and grass as he tried to unhook his shirt from a splinter in the wooden panel. He was ten over ten minutes late so figured Adam and the other would definitely be in class by now. They had to be.He spun on his heels to find Jamie staring him down with cat-like eyes.“Shit,” Ste gasped, an involuntary slip of the tongue. He didn’t bother to apologise or explain his outburst. “Where are the others?”“In class, I presume,” Jamie said. “You are ten minutes late, you know?”
Alice hadn’t stopped thinking about Adam all day. Part of her felt stupid—for being so rubbish in bed and failing at the most basic of sexual positions. Yet, there was a part of her that was excited to try again. That initial feeling of him entering her was something she craved. Every time she thought about it, the craving deepened, leaving her sitting in class while uncomfortably wet. If she got any hornier, she ran the risk of ending up like the creepy kid who’d been caught masturbating in the toilets.After lunch, Alice met Ed and Joseph in Art class. Ed was giving details about his date, who was apparently the only woman in existence who lived for Warhammer and LARPing. She was hot, too, Ed explained, which was always a plus.
A blast of cold air wafted into the kitchen as Jamie opened the front door. He had this terrible habit of leaving the door open as he took his shoes and jacket off, going back to close it as an afterthought while the rest of the house shivered.“You’re letting all the heat out,” Mum shouted from the living room. This was one of Mum’s favourite sayings.“Sorry,” Jamie shouted back. He rolled his eyes as he joined Alice at the kitchen table. Spotting her cup of tea, he hinted, “Have you just boiled the kettle.”This, in her house, was code for, “Make me a drink
‘Another Friday night alone,’ Alice sighed to herself. It wasn’t unusual. Ed was always dating, and Joseph had to work. Ed had invited Alice along on his night out with Carla—now his official girlfriend—but Alice didn’t want to feel like a third wheel.It was pointless to go in and pester Joseph at work on a Friday too, he was always run off his feet. She would be left sitting at the bar like a sad, lonely singleton, waiting for some man to come and sweep her away. The only men that ever approached her were too old, too drunk or just too gross.‘I have to have some standards,’ Alice thought. ‘Veeery basic standards.’
“A’ight?” Mike greeted the couple. He didn’t seem surprised to see Alice.It was weird, but Alice was starting to feel at home in Adam’s house. His family—the dog and the brother—both appeared to have accepted her.“What are you watching?” Adam asked him as he sat on the sofa and pulled Alice down to join him.“Some shit about revising sentences for violent offenders,” Mike explained. “This one guy, right, he used to be some proper gangster. Got nicked for stabbing someone to death and now he’s out and reformed.”