One and Done (Two Outta Three #2)

BOOK: One and Done (Two Outta Three #2)
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One and Done

 

Two Outta Three Series, Book Two

 

 

By S. Briones Lim

 

 

One and Done

 

Copyright © 2015 by S. Briones Lim.

All rights reserved.

First Print Edition: October 2015

 

 

Limitless Publishing, LLC

Kailua, HI 96734

www.limitlesspublishing.com

 

Formatting: Limitless Publishing

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-68058-306-9

ISBN-10: 1-68058-306-9

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

Dedication

 

To those who ever had a

“Jesse” or “Rocky”

in their lives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

I don’t remember the exact moment when I realized I was in love with her.

It may have been the first time I saw her sitting on the quad with her best friend. They were eating some weird straw-shaped candy and laughing as the dye stained their teeth blue. I remember watching her and thinking to myself that even as a weird looking smurf she was pretty cute.

But nah, it couldn’t have been then…

Oh! It was probably this one time in grade school. Like always, I was sitting alone at recess, watching all the other kids go amuck on the jungle gym. Well, everybody except her, that is. She sat quietly on the ground drawing some weird looking shapes with sidewalk chalk. Bright blue, neon pink, an ugly shade of yellow—she certainly caught my eye. However, come to think of it, I wasn’t really into girls back then. You know, cooties and all that bullshit, so it couldn’t have been at that age.

Hmm…

Actually if I really had to hone in on one time, I’d probably pick freshman year biology when I was assigned to her lab group. Whereas all the other students were either too scared or disgusted to even look in my direction, she stared straight at me in an unnerving sort of way. It was as if she were looking inside of me, peering into my soul. I remembered being rendered frozen on the spot. I wasn’t easily shaken, but the fact that this quirky girl could affect me so much took me by surprise. I don’t even remember saying anything to her, but to this day I could repeat every syllable of what she said to me:

Hi, welcome to the group.

Simple words and nothing profound, but to me it was as if the universe had opened itself up. It was like those big brown eyes held my future, both taunting and beckoning to me. I was no longer white noise among my classmates, I was special. In that moment, I knew I’d do anything to make sure she never stopped looking at me.

But was it then that I fell flat out, balls-to-the-walls in love with her? I really can’t say.

I guess some things are better left unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

“I’m through with this, Jesse! We’re gonna get hurt doing something so stupid!” Rocky hissed. Her eyes narrowed into menacing slits, and though she was trying desperately to appear scary, I couldn’t help but laugh at her. It was like watching a little puppy rise on its hind legs—fluffy, cute, and completely out of its element.

“Hey, I didn’t invite you, did I? Why are you even here if you don’t want to do it?” I raised my head and looked up at the rusted fire escape, which hung a few feet above us. A cool breeze blew by, causing the ladder to sway slightly. It creaked ominously, and for a moment I began to wonder if her words of warning held some weight. However, being a stupid teenager I ignored any cautionary sign no matter how brightly it flashed in front of my face. Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time I dove head first into something stupid, and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. Scratching my head, my gaze dropped back to her face, which had suddenly turned pale white. Feeling guilty, I reached out and patted her arm. “If you’re really scared, you don’t have to follow me. I won’t think any less of you.”

I had meant them as words of reassurance, but judging by the scowl that worked its way across her features, she somehow misinterpreted my intentions. With a roll of her eyes, she took a few steps back before bursting into a sprint. Launching herself from the ground, she attempted to grab onto the bottom rung of the ladder only to miss it by mere inches, her fingertips barely scraping the cracked paint.

“You have got to be kidding me!” she groaned, kicking at a nearby dumpster. Her white tennis shoes became dingy with flakes of what was probably old food and dirt, further angering her. “Arghh!”

“What the fuck?” I burst out laughing and shook my head at the ridiculousness. “Hey, Shorty, is that what they mean by little dog syndrome? You’re like a little Chihuahua attacking a Rottweiler!”

“Fuck off, Jesse,” she snapped.

I continued to grin, not letting up. “For real though, how did you even expect to reach this thing without me?” To make my point, I stood on my tip-toes and reached the ladder effortlessly, pulling it down toward us. “There you go, Ma.”

It was quite amusing to watch the way her mouth trembled as if holding back words meant to stab me in the heart. Joke was on her. Nothing she could have said would have hurt me. I’ve basically seen and heard everything nasty in this lifetime—I was impenetrable!

Actually, I take that back. There was one thing she could have said to me that would cause my world to crumble. If she were ever to tell me that she never wanted to see me again, that would have stung—big time. Of course we both knew that was never going to happen. You see, Rocky, or Raquel Rossi as everyone in school knew her, was in love with me. Flat out, head over heels in love with me. Funny thing is, she didn’t know that I knew. Our best friend Stephanie didn’t know that I knew. So how did I know?

Easy!

It was in her eyes, the way her gaze lingered on me whenever she thought I looked away. I could feel her stare permeating my skin, bathing me in care and warmth.

I never looked away.

It was in her words. How even when she was busy cursing me out or joking around with me, there was a certain lullaby to her tone, almost as if by voice alone she could embrace my entire body.

I always listened.

Yeah, I knew she loved me, but you know what? I’d never tell her, nor would I ever let her know that I felt the same way. Why not? To put it bluntly, I didn’t want her to know.

Sure, it may seem simple. Guy likes girl, girl likes guy, they get together, end of story. Unfortunately, that’s not how it would work for me and Rocky. In fact, it would never work out. It was just never in the cards for us.

Still grinning, I gestured toward the rusted ladder. “After you.”

Scowling, she gripped onto the sides and started her climb. I stayed behind, spotting her.

“Aren’t you coming?” she growled. “Or is this just a lame trick to leave me on the roof?”

I frowned. I was never one for pranks, especially those that could hurt the ones I cared about. “Of course not. We’re here to have fun tonight, remember?”

She was already about halfway to the roof when she hissed, “Fun? How is this fun?”

I let my head fall back and admired the way the moonlight illuminated her shapely ass. “Oh trust me; this is a lot of fun.”

 

***

 

“If you get her kicked out of school I’m going to kill you.” Stephanie bared her teeth in my direction, which was frightening considering the amount of metal that was inside her mouth. Each bracket shined in the light, reminding me of a shark’s jaw ready to snap.

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Steph, you really need to lighten up. Stop being Rocky’s keeper. She’s her own woman—”

“A woman who is being steered down the wrong path by you!” To my relief, she glued her mouth together only to bare her metallic fangs toward me once again.

“And there we are with those ugly braces again,” I murmured under my breath.

Stephanie’s jaw dropped open. “You are such a jerk, Jesse!”

“Oh! I didn’t mean for you to hear that,” I joked sheepishly.

She snapped her fingers centimeters in front of my nose, and I could have sworn I felt a crackle of electricity against my skin. “Rocky told me how you both snuck onto the top of the school last night, and for what reason? Just to be uber cool or something? You guys could have been arrested for trespassing. Not to mention breaking curfew. Do you know how that would look on college applications?”

“I’m not going to college, so I don’t know why that would concern me.” I was getting pretty sick of hearing the word “college,” especially since there was no way I’d be able to afford going even if I actually got accepted into one.

Stephanie shifted uncomfortably. “You may not be going, but what about Rocky? She wants to go to Greystone. You know that. Do you really want to ruin her life by pulling these grade school stunts?”

Damn, that was pretty harsh. I swallowed back what tasted like a bitter pill in my mouth. “Do you get off being so overdramatic?”

“I’ll get off by peeling your skin slowly off your body and dumping your pathetic muscle covered bones into a pot of boiling water.”

I froze. Now that was harsh. She’d definitely taken it a step too far, and I really had no comeback seeing as the conversation took a detour into weirdsville.

To my surprise, Stephanie threw her head back and began to laugh, and I’m not talking about a weird witchy laugh either—she really sounded as if she were entertained. “Really? Tough guy Jesse is scared by that? Please. It’s just a quote from my newest fanfiction.”

“Not scared, more like disturbed.” I shuddered to make my point. “Either way, if you take your head out of your stupid elf-themed written pornography—”

“Ha, ha.”

“—you’d see that I’m not forcing her to do anything. She joins me on my—”

“Shenanigans?” Stephanie made a disgusted face.

I shifted uneasily and shook my head. We all knew ‘shenanigans’ was a code word for fooling around. We also knew that I’d never do that with Rocky—not that I didn’t want to, but that’s another story.

“Of course not.” I cleared my throat.

“Good. She’s already been traumatized from that one time she accidentally walked in on you fucking one of your conquests. No need for you to cause further damage by adding her to your bedpost notches.”

The blood drained from my face. “What? What are you talking about? When did she walk in on me?” I paused and winced. “With who?”

“Whoops. I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. Forget I said anything about it,” Stephanie replied quickly.

How the hell was I supposed to forget something like that? Especially since she had it all wrong. I was just about to tell Stephanie that there was no way Rocky could have seen me fucking anybody, but she was clearly keen on changing the unfortunate subject, which I was most grateful for.

Brushing her tangled mess of hair away from her face, she sighed. “I’m just looking out for my friend. For some reason, when she’s with you it’s as if her judgment gets clouded.” She paused to scrutinize me. “It’s as if you’re some drug addiction she can’t shake.”

If my insides weren’t twisted before, they certainly were now. Being compared to a drug was the lowest insult anybody could give me, especially given the household I had grown up in. Of course Stephanie was as oblivious to it all as usual. She was lucky she was my friend. She’d get a free pass and avoid the lashing out that I’d been known to give at a drop of a hat.

Stephanie groaned in exasperation. “Besides, she’s been ditching me all month to hang out with you! You know she didn’t show up for our weekly Thursday TV night? We ended up missing our favorite show and for what? So she could join you on the roof? How lame is that?”

Okay, now I was angry. Slamming my locker shut, I turned at my waist and scowled at her. “Is this what this bullshit is really about? You’re mad because you missed watching that stupid actor strut around shirtless?”

Stephanie’s mouth dropped open. “No! Of course not!”

“Rocky’s my friend too. You don’t think I want what’s best for her? If you really want her to stop doing the things she likes to do, why don’t you talk to her and not to me? Seems there’s a common denominator to this question and I’m not it.”

“Jesse—”

I turned and walked away before she could finish her sentence, flipping my middle finger in the air as I walked off. There was enough bullshit in my life, and I didn’t need any more. Especially from somebody who was supposed to be my friend.

As I meandered through the hallways of the school, the crowd parted—on cue—looking like the Red Sea. Usually being the school pariah didn’t bother me much, but that day it especially rubbed me wrong. Maybe Stephanie was right. Maybe I was a bad influence.

“Whatever,” I muttered, sneering at my schoolmates. “It’s just high school.”

Bethel Falls High School was the bane of my existence. It wasn’t like any of those dumb shows on TV depicting high school as the best years of your life, and it definitely was not a place to grow and prosper in—at least for me it wasn’t. With all its social hierarchies and pseudo-caste systems, high school was just a reminder that those who were lucky enough to be considered a member of the privileged bunch had an easier time than lowlifes like me.

Now, don’t go feeling sorry for me. I was used to it…at least I made myself believe I was. It was even a bit fun to think that I somehow had the ability to scare and shake up the BFHS population. Still, on some days school did nothing but remind me of the legacy my mother had left me with—I was nothing but the poor bad boy that your parents warned you about. Hell, if I had one of those ‘Hello My Name Is’ nametags, it’d probably say:

Hi, I’m Jesse Tyler. I am seventeen years old and am basically an orphan. Sure, both my parents are alive and kicking, but considering who they are and how they treat me I’m basically abandoned. Dad up and left me for a better life in South Carolina, and as for Mom, well, let’s just say I’m the adult in that relationship. I cook, clean, pay the bills, and do my best to ignore her alcohol-infused madness.

“My name is Jesse Tyler,” I mumbled to myself. “I used to hate the sight of alcohol and the smell of weed. Now, I want nothing more than to go home and throw back a few bottles while smoking a blunt.”

Yup, I was basically the textbook definition of nature and nurture. After all those years trying to keep my mom away from the bad stuff, I found myself diving into her stash as well. Stephanie was right—I did deserve to be boiled.

“Jesse!”

My brain came back to earth, and I had to blink twice to remember where I was. Rocky’s voice always had the power to snap me back to reality, and her timing couldn’t have been better. I turned around and automatically grinned at the sight of her sprinting toward me. She looked so cute running down the hallway, her hair tied up in two loose braids that bounced against her shoulders.

“Hey, yourself,” I greeted, switching the strap of my backpack from one shoulder to the other, ensuring there was nothing in the way between us.

She skidded to a stop beside me looking like a cartoon character. All she was missing was the screeching noise and the cloud of smoke at her feet. She tugged at her braids nervously. “Stephanie told me she gave you a talking to. You okay?”

I smirked. “I think I’ll survive.”

“She’s really something sometimes…you can tell me what you really think about it, you know. I won’t tell her.”

A smile teased my lips, but I wasn’t about to bite. No way was I going to start bad mouthing one friend to another—even if she deserved it. “Yeah, she’s something all right, but she does make a good point.”

“What do you mean?” Rocky paused and glanced up at me curiously. Her thick eyebrows, which she often forgot to pluck, curled down toward the center of her face.

Without answering her question, I nudged her forward. “Let’s just talk about it later.”

BOOK: One and Done (Two Outta Three #2)
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