By the time the bell rang to signal the end of the school day Jason was extremely tired. Three sets of eyes watched his every move at all hours of the day. Two sets in Jason’s class, and one set everywhere he went in the halls. Jason couldn’t tell how long Kirsten had been watching him before today, but now that she officially introduced herself Jason was beginning to feel her presence far more often. For someone who had a deep seated fear of this exact situation, it was excruciating. It brought back buried memories of being followed, his personal space being violated time and time again, and a growing certainty that tensions were only going to grow from here. As the students all rose and began to leave, Courtney wasted no time in closing the distance between herself and Jason. His seat neighbor placed her hands on either side of him. One on Jason’s desk, one on the back of his chair. Her sudden movements also pushed him closer to the wall, effectively trapping him in place as her amber eyes sparkled with mischievous glee.
“So, Jason.” She leaned forward until her face was uncomfortably close to his own.
Jason risked a glance to the seat directly in front of him but Jessica had yet to notice what was happening behind her. His old childhood friend had been daydreaming for most of the past hour and hadn’t realized that class was over. Courtney’s cool breath on his face drew his attention immediately back to her unexpected advances.
“I seem to remember someone owing me a favor.” She cocked her head to the side and her grin widened.
“R-r-right.” Jason stammered.
Though her body might not be as… defined… as Jessica’s is in her school uniform, Jason was incredibly aware of how attractive Courtney was. He couldn’t tell if it was the way she was standing or if she adjusted her clothing somehow when he wasn’t looking, but Courtney’s previously baggy shirt was now amazingly form fitting. Jason was helpless as his eyes inadvertently, and quite obviously, took in her hourglass figure. Courtney didn’t look offended by his wandering attention, on the contrary, Jason felt she looked extremely happy.
“Hey!” A hand grabbed Courtney’s shoulder and threw her away from Jason.
Snapped out of her daydream, the six foot tall amazon was fully awake and painfully aware of what had been happening behind her. Though half of the students had already left the classroom, those that remained all turned at the sound of one of their classmates being thrown into a desk.
Jessica’s eyes could melt steel as she glared down at Courtney. “Get your filthy-”
“Jess!” Jason stood and slid between his childhood friend and Courtney.
Fully expecting the shorter girl to retaliate, Jason turned with a hand lifted towards each girl so he could push them apart. Unexpectedly, Courtney began to laugh like it was all a joke. She put her hands together in a mock prayer pose.
“Sorry Jessica.” She bowed her head towards the taller girl and smiled. “I just wanted to tease Jason a little bit. I didn’t mean to bump into you like that.”
Jessica frowned at the response, her eyes narrowing in suspicion. Jason was initially confused at the response as well. He glanced around the room. Though they had been the center of attention moments before, most people turned away after seeing Courtney’s laughter and polite response to being tossed.
She’s putting Jessica into a social corner. If a fight were to break out after Courtney was seen trying to be friendly and understanding, no one would take Jessica’s side. Jason theorized.
It was a smart play, Jason had to admit. Jessica was extremely strong and Courtney obviously knew that she stood no chance against her physically. If Courtney played her cards right, should a fight ever break out, almost everyone in the class would immediately defend Courtney or at least vouch for her when the authorities showed up. The sly girl smiled sweetly at Jessica before walking towards the exit.
“It’s been fun. See you both tomorrow!” Courtney called back chiperly.
Jason watched her slip her phone out from her pocket and give him a short wink. Jason sighed, once again grateful that no one got hurt. Courtney was a new kind of girl though, one that Jason didn’t have much experience dealing with. He’d have to be careful around her from now on. She wasn’t nearly as predictable as the other two. With that sobering thought, Jason turned back to hopefully calm Jessica down to a manageable level. To his surprise, the tall girl wasn’t angry anymore. In fact, she was beet red in the face and gazing down at the floor. Jason was about to ask her what the problem was before he realized that his hand was still lifted up in her direction.
In all of the commotion and mind games, Jason and Jessica had inadvertently drifted closer together and his hand was planted firmly in the center of her chest. Jason yelped and jumped backwards.
“I-I… No, S-sorry!” His brain had completely turned to mush as the feeling of his hand there was seared into his memory against his will. “I just thought, I mean, I wasn’t thinking and-”
“I-it’s okay.” Jessica frantically waved her hands between them. “It w-was an accident. I didn’t really...”
“Ahehe.” Her blushed deepened and she hugged herself with her arms.
Jason straightened himself and cleared his throat. “Thanks. Um… Are you still free now? I was thinking we could go to a cafe and talk.”
As much as he didn’t want to encourage Jessica’s potential obsession, a part of Jason really wanted to know what her life had been like since they last saw each other. Between that desire and the knowledge that canceling their time together could be disastrous for Jess’ mental stability, Jason swallowed the urge to weasel out of it.
“Of course.” Jessica’s attention snapped back up to him. “I always have time for you.”
Her sincerity caused butterflies to storm through Jason’s stomach. In another place, in another time, this response would have been everything he could have possibly dreamed for.
“Great.” Jason gestured awkwardly out of the window. “I just have to get my stuff together and talk to Hayden for a moment. Meet you by the gate?”
Jessica beamed. “Okay!”
Silver hair bouncing, Jessica grabbed her bag and practically skipped from the room. Hayden had been watching Jason’s interactions with the two girls around him since the bell had rung. Now that Jason was alone, Hayden stood and approached his best friend with a sheepish expression.
“I wanted to jump in and help, but I didn’t have any idea what to say.” Hayden shook his head. “Sorry man.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Jason huffed as he sunk back down into his chair. “I’m just winging it anyway. I don’t know what to say either.”
“What do you need?” Hayden asked, determined to be of use.
Jason thought for a moment. One on one, he was pretty confident he could interact with Jess and keep things level. What he couldn’t handle, was a second party getting involved and making a scene in public.
Jason’s mind began to formulate a plan. “Okay when I walk out of here, ideally before I meet up with Jess, I want you to find Kirsten.”
“The weird stalker girl that gave you her lunch?” Hayden asked.
Jason nodded. “I want you to ask her if she’d be willing to make me another meal tomorrow. Tell her I don’t deserve to make requests but if I could get fish I would be extremely grateful.”
“What for?” Hayden was thoroughly confused. “Didn’t you say it was dangerous to encourage their obsession? Isn’t that exactly what this will do?”
“Yes but if she follows me out there as much as she does in here, then I don’t want her to see me going to a cafe with Jess. I doubt she has fish at home which means she’ll have to go buy some today.”
“I don’t know man.” Hayden shook his head. “Won’t it be extremely suspicious that I’m the one who asked?”
“It’s a risk.” Jason admitted. “I’m also trusting that Coutney is just going to go home and won't follow me either. Regardless of what happens, come over to my house this evening. We need to jump on researching this thing as soon as possible.”
Hayden nodded. “All right. Just shoot me a text when you’re done with your date.”
“It’s not a date.” Jason snapped.
Hayden smirked. “Maybe not to you man. Be careful.”
Jason bristled but knew it was probably the truth. After a brief fist bump, the pair split. A mixture of emotions rolled through his heart and mind like a stormy sea as he considered his outing with Jess. A buzz from his pocket broke through Jason’s stupor as he descended the main stairs to the ground floor. Unsurprisingly, Jason discovered a new text from Courtney when he pulled his phone out from his pocket.
“Hey you ;) Call me when you’re finished talking with the silver haired freak. I overheard her babbling about you two ‘catching up’, but you shouldn’t feel bad if you have to cut your time with her short. She’s not worth being nice to anyway.
Also, I didn’t get a chance to ask you for that favor. Don’t keep me waiting… XOXO”
Jason read the text and had to admire Courtney’s open disdain for Jess. She may feign being nice in public but it looked like she wasn’t going to mince words when she talked with Jason in private. It wasn’t an exact science, but Jason got the distinct impression that Courtney was far more tolerant of other people being around Jason… At least for now. If his past and the two other girls Jason was currently dealing with were any indicators, then Courtney would eventually become far more territorial as time wore on.
Just another reason why Hayden and I need to figure this thing out. Jason thought as he strode out the front doors.
Over the sea of excited high schoolers leaving their first day back, Jason spotted an anxious Jessica loitering right next to the front gate. She hadn’t noticed Jason yet. Rather, she was busy straightening her outfit and retying her ponytail up behind her head. Jessica turned her fair share of heads as the masses passed her by. Her violet eyes glazed over all of them, like they weren’t even there, but sprang to life when she spotted Jason in the distance. Jessica scorched the crowd between them as her face lit up with a brilliant smile. Jason instinctually smiled back.
Jason was struck with a thought. Do you think she’d smile like that if I didn’t have this ability?
Sure they had played together and enjoyed each other’s company growing up, but if Jason found a way to rid himself of this curse, would Jessica still feel… something towards him? Not having any answers, Jason forced his smile to remain and closed the distance between himself and Jessica.
Courtney sat in the back of the black luxury vehicle her driver picked her up in. Her hands absentmindedly twisted and flipped her phone in her hands. Her eyes periodically dropped down to the screen to make sure she hadn’t missed a notification. Though she knew it probably wouldn’t come for hours, Courtney’s anticipation for a message from Jason drove her to checking her phone every few minutes.
Her driver and the man sitting in the passenger seat paid her no mind. The two burly men in dark blue suits were at her beck and call. It was not their place to comment on Courtney’s various habits. Her mind drifted back to the classroom. Courtney smirked as she remembered the rage and frustration painted on the stupid gorilla girl’s face. All Courtney needed was Jessica to throw one punch, just enough to leave a mark, and she would be gone. Today had gone a long way to ensuring that her classmates would take her side, and Courtney hoped that allowing Jessica to get away with shoving her would give the muscled bimbo the arrogance she needed to push things further. All the pieces were in place. Courtney just had to wait.
There was also the mouse. The creepy little stalker that Courtney had spotted watching Jason numerous times throughout the day. She didn’t have Jessica’s history with Jason. Nor did she appear to have enough confidence even to speak with Jason directly.
That brat is also lacking certain, feminine charms. Courtney thought proudly.
She’d caught Jason looking at her. It was the first time in her life that she’d ever felt such a rush of adrenaline from someone simply checking her out.
Well, Courtney mused to herself, I doubt anyone but Jason could give me such a feeling.
She giggled and opened her phone once more. Courtney cleared the screen so she could get a full view of the background image she had added earlier today. It was Jason seated at his desk. His eyes slightly droopy from the dull atmosphere that had permeated the classroom in that moment. He had a pencil spinning in his right hand and the light streaming in from the window behind him complemented his features nicely.
I love it. Courtney sighed happily.
A pleasant smile remained on her face as she once again resumed spinning her phone in her hand.
It won't be long till he’s all mine.
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