Welcome to Wednesday Briefs which is a feature on my blog where I share a piece of flash fiction for you, and link you to some other amazing authors.
By Friday the entire school was buzzing with the news of the party at the Marsh. The halls were electric, whispers, notes and tweets flew faster than the speed of light as the message spread. A couple of over achieving seniors had already figured out a schedule for cars to arrive and leave so there wasn’t too much attention drawn to the festivities. The adults and authorities often turned a blind eye, but if there was a constant stream of traffic into the Marsh it would bring too much focus on us. I had already cleared my involvement with mom.
I shouldered my bag as the last bell sounded, escaping out one of the side doors. My last class of the day was actually a free period and I had been holed up in the darkroom in the photo lab working on developing classic film. I like everyone else had digital cameras, my birthday present to myself last year was a top of the line digital SLR with a case of various lenses. But there was something to be said for the art of developing pictures the classic way, with chemicals and light and absolutely no guarantee that they would come out correctly. I made my way through the crowds that had overtaken the sidewalk and to the student parking lot. Cal was leaning against my truck, his backpack at his feet.
He hadn’t seen me yet, and I hesitated, allowing myself to be swallowed by the crowd momentarily. Jeans, paired with a dark red button up the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, I could see the stark white of his undershirt from how far he had unbuttoned his shirt already. He ran a hand through his hair, and I couldn’t help but follow the path of the motion, the muscles in his arms cording slightly as he ruffled the blond strands. My mouth was dry, and I found it hard to breathe as he smiled broadly, looking at someone.
“Logan!” He lifted his hand, calling out to me. I forced my heart to beat regularly, the thundering pace made it seem like the organ was going to leap out of my chest. I walked over to my truck the crowd parting for me.
“Cal?” I unlocked the driver’s side, throwing my backpack into the cab. “What’s up?”
“You’re still going tonight right?” He had followed me to my side of the truck. I could feel him towering over me, the heat of his body radiating off of him in near tangible waves. I really had to get a hold of this. I couldn’t let him see, couldn’t let him know.
“I don’t get a say do I?” I asked.
“Dude, if you really don’t want to go, I’ll let you off the hook.”
His weight collided against my back, his chin on my shoulder. I could feel him against me and forced myself still, mentally willing my body to ignore how good it felt. “I’m going, don’t worry.” I managed to get out.
“Good, then I’m coming home with you.” He pulled away and got into the passenger seat of the truck.
I rolled my eyes and got behind the steering wheel. “What made you decide on this.”
“We’re going to the Marsh together, it makes sense that I just come home with you. Less chance of my dad getting me caught up in one of his projects.” He buckled his seatbelt as I pulled out of the parking spot.
“It’s not like I was going to do anything exciting. I need to do some editing for the yearbook photos that were turned in.”
“I promise that I won’t bug you.” He flashed another grin at me. “I’ve got some reading to do for English, so you can edit, and I’ll do homework.”
“You haven’t done the reading yet?” I drove through town, headed for home. He smelled good, I couldn’t name the cologne he wore, but it wasn’t too overpowering. I snuck a glance at him. He was all arms and legs, sprawled out in the passenger seat. He was drumming along to the song on the radio, fingers rapidly tapping against his knee.
“I figured it’d be okay. It’s not due until Monday and I was more worried about getting the papers done.” He shrugged and poked my arm. “Smile, man, it’s the weekend.”
“I am smiling.” I pulled into the driveway. “Mom won’t be home until after we leave tonight, so you’ll have to come by again. She said she wants to spoil you.”
“Your mom is the best you know that?” He got out of the truck, slamming the door. “I will come bay again. I miss talking with her.”
“We haven’t gone anywhere.” I locked the truck and opened the door to the house. Toed off my shoes and dropped my bag by the door. Cal mirrored me and followed me back to my bedroom.
“I know, I just feel weird coming over without talking to you first. I mean you avoid me at school.”
“I don’t avoid you.” I sat at the computer chair and started up the beast. “I avoid everyone, don’t think you’re special.”
“What did you just say?” He asked as he threw himself onto my bed. “I am extremely special.” He pulled a tattered copy of ‘Animal Farm’ out of his back pocket and started to flip through it.
“That’s one way of putting it.” I muttered as I started to edit photographs. I hadn’t been working long when I heard slow, heavy breathing coming from behind me. I turned slightly in the chair to see Cal asleep on my bed, book on his chest. I couldn’t bring myself to say something to him, he looked actually rather peaceful curled up in my blankets. Pushing other thoughts aside, I bodily turned the chair away and continued working on the club pictures for the yearbook.
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