tagFirst TimeObsession Ch. 02

Obsession Ch. 02


"You haven't heard a word I've said, have you?" Kelsey grimaced with irritation as Jess stared blankly at the poster on the wall.

"What?" her friend replied after a long interval.

"I SAID, who're you gonna go to the dance with?"

Jess shrugged. She'd had several offers this week, but none of them interested her. The only boy she wanted to go with seemed to be ignoring her completely and this irked her beyond comprehension.

Since that afternoon on the athletics field, she'd seen Daniel several times. On each occasion he had barely given her a second glance. At first she'd felt surprisingly hurt, which shocked her. Then she began to feel annoyed. How dare he ignore her!

"I dunno if I'm going," Jess muttered. She pulled her mobile from her bag when it buzzed to indicate a message received. The text was from Neil Patterson. She didn't know how he had found out her mobile number, but all week he had been sending her text messages. It was becoming increasingly irritating.

"Aw come on, Jess! If you don't go, I'll be stuck with Mel and Kyle all evening." Kelsey followed Jess down the corridor towards the cafeteria. She saw Neil Patterson lurking in the entrance to one of the classrooms with a goofy expression on his face, but true to form, Jess blanked him as she passed by.

Seeing the crestfallen look on Neil's face almost persuaded Kelsey to feel sorry for him – until she remembered the day he'd laughed at her feeble attempt to play netball and her heart hardened. No, he deserved all he got.

"Come on," Kelsey wheedled as they queued up for some lunch. "You have to come along to the dance." She reached into the display cabinet and pulled a salad out. It looked about as appetising as a plate of cardboard, but, she reminded herself grimly, no pain, no gain.

On Saturday the bathroom scales had informed her she was overweight and she'd been on a diet ever since. So far she'd gained two pounds, which was pretty depressing since all she'd eaten was rabbit food for five days.

At this rate, Kelsey thought bitterly, I'll be a size zero by the time I'm menopausal.

Jess selected a cheese and ham roll, and moved towards the cashier. "I don't know if I can be bothered to go to the stupid dance," she said whilst ruminating over the cartons of fruit juice. "I have my English assignment to finish."

Kelsey chose a bottle of spring water.

That'll be me peeing all afternoon, she thought wryly. "The dance will be fun. You work too damned hard. Live a little!" She glanced at Jess sideways as they passed by the dour Mrs Kipling who was sitting next to the cash register.

"I doubt it'll be THAT much fun. Besides, hard work is good for the soul." Jess headed for a window seat and Kelsey followed in despair. This was proving more difficult than she had ever envisaged. Where had the fun girl who'd been her friend forever and a day gone? This version of Jess was becoming a pain in the arse. She had been in a world of her own all week.

"What's up, Jess?" asked Kelsey curiously.

"Nothing, I just..." Jess's voice trailed off as she noticed Daniel walking across the room. For a second he caught her eye and she felt the sparks flutter deep inside her belly, then Imelda Mackey crossed his path and his attention was diverted.

Jess watched with thinly veiled disgust as Imelda wove strands of curly red hair through her fingers whilst thrusting her pneumatic breasts in Daniel's face. When he smiled warmly at the porn-star wannabe, Jess felt like ramming a fork in his handsome head.

"Hey Daniel," purred Imelda huskily. "I saw you on the track today and you looked," she ran a scorching gaze down his body before continuing with a faint laugh, "pretty hot!" Long lashes fluttered saucily and Daniel tried without much success to lift his gaze from her cleavage.

"Thanks err..."

"Imelda," the girl supplied quickly. "I'm your number one fan."

Daniel laughed good-naturedly. "I don't think I'm worthy of such adoration yet, but thanks anyway!" He could see Jess watching him out of the corner of his eye. The hostility of her expression was evident and he felt a jolt of guilt stab him sharply.

He knew he'd been ignoring her blatantly all week, but he wasn't entirely sure why. Part of him wanted to talk to her, to get to know her, but another part of him recognised that she was dangerous. She scared him shitless, was the God's honest truth.

Imelda was talking to him in a breathy voice and he hurriedly tuned back in, aware that he'd been staring out of the large windows - and at Jess.

"...so I was wondering if you wanted to go to the dance with me?"

Imelda stared at Daniel hopefully and he thought fast. Dance? Then he remembered seeing the poster by the admin office. If memory served him correctly, the dance was this coming Friday.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a tall young man approach Jess's table. She blessed the usurper with a brilliant smile and Daniel experienced a cramp of jealousy. He knew it was ridiculous given the fact he was talking to Imelda, but reason and logic had fled the room it seemed.

Reluctantly he dragged his attention back to the redhead standing before him. "Sure, I'd love to," he heard himself say.

"Cool!" Imelda grinned with delight. Without warning, she flung her arms around his neck and locked lips with him in a passionate kiss. He was dimly aware of a few whistles from the other students as Imelda's enormous breasts pressed firmly against his chest and her tongue thrust into his mouth.

As soon as was practical, he pushed her away gently; he didn't want to offend, but nor did he want to be the subject of gossip all year. Imelda was left smirking like the cat that'd scoffed the cream and he wondered if maybe he'd been manipulated a little. Well it was too late now – he'd uttered the fatal words and the whole cafeteria was his witness.

Jess felt nausea rise up into her throat. Watching Imelda bloody Mackay kiss Daniel was like seeing an anaconda in action on the Discovery Channel. The girl was home to more diseases than a STD clinic. Did he have no standards? She fumed silently as Neil Patterson waffled on into her ear.

As she struggled to control her temper, she saw Daniel walking towards their table and she turned to Neil in a flash. "Yes, I'd LOVE to go to the dance with you," she announced loudly, just as Daniel was mere feet from her table, a bottle of fruit juice in one hand.

"Er...what?" spluttered Neil in surprise. "You'll go to the dance with me?" He looked positively shell shocked; hardly able to comprehend that the girl of his dreams had agreed to be his escort.

Holy shit, he marvelled silently. The lads were never going to fucking believe his stroke of luck – the bet was surely in the bag now!

"I do believe I said that, yes," replied Jess tightly, unable to prevent a trace of sarcasm escaping.

"Ace!" beamed Neil happily, already picturing the envious stares of his peers as HE, Neil Patterson, swaggered into the hall with the drop dead gorgeous, Jess Walker, on his arm.

He barely noticed the black look Daniel was throwing in his direction. Jess intercepted the stare and briefly raised her eyebrow superciliously, before turning her back on him pointedly. He'd had his chance, she thought angrily. The minute he'd chosen that slut, Imelda, over her, was the minute he'd blown it. Just to emphasise the point that she wasn't interested in Daniel anymore, she stood and placed one arm across Neil's skinny shoulder.

"I'm really looking forward to the dance now," she cooed in his ear. Arching her back, she allowed him to feel the tips of her breasts rubbing his chest.

She heard him suck in a sharp breath before he said, "Me too..."

Kelsey sat watching the scene unfold with a sense that she was missing something important. She knew damn well Jess was not interested in Neil Patterson, so why on earth her friend had suddenly agreed to attend the dance with him, when not less than fifteen minutes previously she had insisted she wasn't going to go to, completely baffled her. And then there was the look on Jess's face when Imelda Mackay made a pass at that hot guy, Daniel. Not to mention the almost matching expression on Daniel's face right before he sat down at a nearby table with a ferocious look.

The whole thing was beginning to give her a tension headache. It was nothing a plate of chips with mayonnaise wouldn't cure, but instead, here she was, stuck with a pile of rabbit food. It was almost enough to make her cry.

Miserably she lifted a limp strand of lettuce and chewed on it. God it tasted like...nothing! Movement attracted her attention and she looked up curiously. Neil's friend, Ethan, had appeared from nowhere and was prodding Neil on the arm.

"Better hurry up, Mate," he said. "Miss Jackson is looking for you."

"Oh fuck," Neil muttered crossly. "I forgot to go see her." He turned to Jess again. "Shall I call you tonight?" he asked slightly nervously.

"Sure," Jess said brightly, aware that Daniel was still nearby.

Neil looked pleased. "Okay, talk to you later," he said. Clumsily he lunged forward to kiss Jess, but she averted her face at the last minute and his lips brushed her cheek instead. Half raising a hand, he walked away, still looking a little surprised.

Ethan said something to Neil and slapped him on the back encouragingly. Then, much to Kelsey's surprise, he turned round and winked at her. For a second she grinned at Ethan, a warm feeling stealing over her, until she suddenly realised that he was probably only taking the piss. Ethan was cute – why would he look at her? Of course he wouldn't, she thought crossly. Her smile faded like the sun disappearing behind a cloud, and she turned back to Jess.

Jess was staring pensively at the half eaten roll sitting sadly before her. "If you aren't going to eat that, can I have it?" Kelsey asked hopefully.

"Sure," Jess replied dully. She shoved the plate across the table. "It's all yours."

Kelsey took a bite and sighed happily. Now this was more like REAL food. It would have been nicer with a side order of chips, but hey, a girl couldn't have everything.

"What's all this with Neil?" she asked after a moment. "I thought you couldn't stand him?"

"He's okay," Jess replied defensively.

Kelsey laughed. "Yeah right – that's not what you said last week!" she snorted.

"I changed my mind about him, okay!" She scowled and flicked her hair back. "Anyway, I thought you wanted me to go to the stupid dance, so quit whining."

"I do, but I just don't get why you asked Neil."

"Forget it, Kelsey - I don't want to talk about it now. I got a tutorial with Mr Spencer so I'll catch you later." She stood abruptly and grabbed her bag. Smoothing her skirt down over sleek tanned thighs, she sauntered past Daniel, refusing to even look at him. There was a discernible chill in the air as she swept out of the room.

Daniel drank the rest of his juice morosely and wondered what the odds were of Neil having a fatal accident in the next forty-eight hours. He could see Imelda watching him, surrounded by her giggling friends, but he had no intention of going over there.

It bothered him that he'd allowed Jess to get under his skin. That hadn't been the plan at all. His plan had been to mind his own business and concentrate on the reason why he was here – athletics. Now everything had gone awry and he was not only stuck with an unwanted date to the dance, he was also obsessing over a girl.

He sighed heavily as he stared unseeingly out across the playing fields. There was nothing he could do about Imelda now, he reasoned. He had no desire to hurt her feelings, so he would do as agreed and go to the dance with her. As for Jess, well that was more difficult. Ignoring her hadn't worked, nor had trying to avoid her.

He was beginning to think that maybe he should have just let things take their course. Maybe then he would have lost interest by now, although given the way he was reacting at the moment, he doubted that would have been the case.

With a growl of irritation, he stood and drained the last of the juice. It was time for some hard training in the gym; it might distract him enough to gain some peace. He grabbed his stuff and stalked out of the cafeteria, oblivious to the smouldering looks Imelda was throwing at him.

Kelsey watched him go with interest. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she felt certain that Jess's strange behaviour of late had something to do with that guy. He was the only boy she'd ever seen Jess take an interest in. He was also the only boy who'd not fallen at her friend's feet within five minutes.

It appeared that the dance tomorrow night was going to be more interesting than she'd anticipated. Kelsey didn't have a date for it, but for once she didn't care. She didn't want to be distracted by some annoying boy when she had other more important things to worry about. Oh no, she'd go along with Mel and Kyle, and observe from the sidelines. Tomorrow night was where the action was going to be.

* * *

Jess grudgingly allowed Neil to take her arm as they crossed the hall. Because they were late, the large room was already packed with students, milling around in small groups and enjoying the music. Coloured lights twinkled from above the stage where a local band was playing some of their rock songs.

Several people waved greetings at Jess and she waved back with gritted teeth. Neil Patterson was the last person she wanted to be seen with, but she'd stupidly gotten herself into this mess and she had to live with the consequences. It was all Daniel's fault and despite her antipathy towards him, she couldn't help but scan the crowds to see if he was here.

So far he didn't appear to be. This was something of a blessing, she thought miserably. At least now, seeing him with that slut, Imelda, wouldn't torment her.

"Wanna drink?" Neil politely asked.

"Er, yeah, sure," Jess replied, reluctantly dragging her attention back to Neil.

"Take a seat and I'll go fetch us some punch."

As there was nothing else to do, Jess plonked herself down at a vacant table and stared mournfully across the room. She felt tired and cross; hardly the best mood to be in at a dance. She knew she looked great – Neil had told her so – but she was wondering why she'd bothered. It seemed a waste of time when the one person whose opinion mattered was absent.

* * *

Daniel was standing in the doorway to the hall as he waited for Imelda to hang up her coat in the cloakroom. He was already in a bad mood having had to wait for her to finish getting ready. Sitting in her front room listening to her obnoxious father shout obscenities, whilst his football team played abysmally, was not Daniel's idea of a fun night out.

When eventually Imelda had appeared, he had graciously told her she looked lovely. In fact she'd looked like a cheap hooker, but he didn't have the heart to say so. There was no way he was taking her out again after this evening. She just wasn't his type at all.

He cast a jaded eye across the other students and wondered how short a time he could stay without upsetting Imelda too much. Then his gaze fell upon Jess, sitting all alone. For a second his heart jumped joyfully. She looked so sad, her pale blonde hair cascading across her shoulders like white gold.

The urge to walk over and talk to her was almost overwhelming. Then Neil appeared, carrying two plastic cups of punch, and Daniel felt cold disappointment wash over him like a bitter squall of rain. Now he had no chance to explain himself and he had nobody to blame but himself.

* * *

"Sure," Jess replied listlessly when Neil suggested they dance to one of the slow tracks. She stood and followed him onto the dance floor, trying not to cringe when he placed his hands on her hips, surreptitiously groping her bottom in the process. The scent of his aftershave was making her feel nauseous, but fighting the desire to push him away, Jess began to move to the beat of the song.

The lyrical notes slowly soothed her ragged thoughts and she relaxed a little. Maybe Neil wasn't so bad, she told herself firmly. So far, he'd been the perfect gentleman. No attempts to kiss her or crude innuendo laden conversation. Part of her hoped she'd misjudged him, but the cynical part reminded her it was unlikely.

The only positive slant to the evening was the fact that Neil's friend Ethan appeared to be interested in Kelsey. He'd sat down at their table and the two of them had been chattering away all night. Jess really hoped Ethan wasn't playing some kind of game, as she knew Kelsey fancied the pants off him. On the surface, however, Ethan seemed genuinely interested.

Kelsey was throwing her gleeful looks, but Jess resisted the impulse to scowl back in case Ethan noticed. The last thing she wanted was for Ethan to suspect anything was wrong. It seemed unfair to spoil Neil's evening and although she had no intention of repeating this experience, it wasn't Neil's fault he was acting as a stand-in for the real object of her interest - the person who was currently being groped by a very drunk Imelda Mackay.

* * *

Daniel pushed Imelda's hand off his thigh for what felt like the millionth time. It had taken him awhile to discover that she was swigging neat vodka from a plastic coke bottle. By the time he HAD realised, his date was well and truly pissed. Her voice slurred dangerously as she cooed in his ear.

"Wanna go for a walk outshide wish me?" she hiccupped.

"Not at the moment, thanks," he said politely. He wondered how on earth he was going to get her home. With the state she was in, it wasn't going to be easy

A glimpse of blonde hair on the dance floor caught his eye and he looked up. Jess was dancing with Neil and her head rested on his shoulder as the band played a slow, romantic ballad. Her eyes were half closed as the haunting music coloured the whole room rosy pink.

Suddenly he wished it were he with whom she was dancing. The stupid game he'd played seemed unbelievably childish now. He had blown it – she was with another guy and unlikely to forgive him for ignoring her so many times.

The pale pink dress she wore hugged her slim frame like a glove. As she swept nearer his table, he admired the long legs that flexed as she moved. The graceful line of her neck was as elegant as a swan's and he struggled to control the sensation that he had lost something special; something he would never be able to regain.

Imelda had slumped into a catatonic state beside him and he looked at her with distaste. "I wanna go home," she said eventually. "I feel sick..."

"Come on," Daniel said exasperatedly. "I think you need some fresh air." He hauled her to her feet and supported her slack weight easily. Now as long as she didn't puke up all over him, everything would be just fine.

Ignoring the amused glances from other students, Daniel dragged Imelda from the room and headed down the corridor towards the exit door.

* * *

The song finished and Jess was jerked back to reality by the realisation that Neil's hand was touching the curve of her breast. "Gerroff!" she hissed, trying not to attract attention from anyone.

"Aw come on, Jess, don't be like that," he said with a smile.

Jess's eyes flashed with anger and she shoved him away, hard. "Just because I agreed to come with you tonight, does not give you the right to grope me!"

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. My hand slipped." Neil looked apologetic.

She didn't believe a word of it. Besides, she'd had enough of the whole damned evening. Kelsey at least was snuggled up with Ethan. Jess doubted that her friend would even notice she'd gone if she left now.

"Look, I have a headache," Jess muttered flatly. "Can you take me home, please?"

Neil began to look mutinous. This wasn't quite how he envisaged his evening progressing. There was a lot of money riding on tonight and he had no intention of giving up just yet.

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