Between the tickle torture he woke me up with this morning and the rush to school, I had barely talked to him about his visit with his brother.
“So, get your ass out to the parking lot right after school today.” Madoc sauntered up to me as I headed to French class. He was grinning from ear to ear. “We’re going to practice racing out on Route Five. Lots of dirt road and hills.”
I pushed up the sleeves of my thin, black cardigan that I wore over my Avenged Sevenfoldt-shirt. I was hot as hell as I battled the crowd in the hallway. “Why would I want to practice racing? And with you?”
“Because Jared said you were looking at a G8 to buy. We could spend the winter getting it ready to race in the spring. Jared says he’s got work after school, so that means you’re free, and we can bond.” He nodded his filthy-flirtatious head like I should be so excited.
I couldn’t lie and say that I wasn’t interested in buying a car. Jared had seen my internet printouts. A guy in Chicago was selling a Pontiac G8 that had me drooling, but I hadn’t decided to buy it yet.
Madoc raised his eyebrows. His light blue oxford hung open over a dark gray t-shirt, and with his boyish demeanor, it was hard to stay agitated with him. He was trying to be friendly, after all.
But I forced a stern voice. “I have labs twice a week, including today. I have cross country. Not to mention, I have papers due in Themes and French early next week, and a Math and Chemistry test right before Halloween next Friday. Some other time…maybe.” I breathed out the last part as I opened the door to French class.
“Don’t be such a party pooper!” Madoc followed me in and shouted loud enough for the whole classroom to hear. “Those na**d pictures of us skinny dipping were for my eyes only.”
I halted, and closed my eyes as I sensed every student in the room turn to stare at me. Was he seriously doing this to me again?!
Snickers and not-so-subtle laughs erupted, while I took a moment to straighten my shoulders and proceed to my desk. I caught Ben out of the corner of my eye, his long legs crossed at the ankles and one hand tapping a pen on his notebook. His eyes were downcast, but he was clearly trying to hold back a laugh.
“Mr. Caruthers.” Madame Lyon stepped out from behind her desk and addressed Madoc in English, crossing her arms over her chest. “I assume you have somewhere you need to be right now.”
Madoc placed one hand over his chest, while the other hand gestured to me. “Nowhere but by her side until the end of time,” he answered.
I cleared my throat as I took my seat. “Piss off,” I mouthed to him.
With a fake pout puckering his lips, Madoc backed out of the door and disappeared.
As soon as the door closed, I heard some cell phones ringers go off around me including some vibrating from other phones, including mine. Weird. Why were we all getting notifications at the same time?
“Mettez vos telephones off, s’il vous plaît!” Madame told us to turn our phones off. It was a school rule to keep them silenced during instructional time, but everyone carried theirs on them.
I quickly reached into my bag to completely silence mine as a few others were bold enough to actually check their notifications covertly.
As I went to lower my volume, I saw that it was a text from Jared. A little shot of heat surged through my chest, and I hid my phone under the desk so I could check the message.
When I opened up the video he’d sent, I nearly choked on my own air.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. My hands shook as I watched a video on my phone of Jared and I ha**ng s*x Saturday night. I could tell it was Saturday night from the way my hair was styled for Homecoming.
My stomach rolled and putrid bile rose up to the back of my mouth. I think I would’ve vomited if not for my throat closing off the oxygen trying to get in.
Us. Having sex. We were recorded.
And there I was, perfectly visible and extremely na**d as I straddled Jared.
Oh, my God. I wanted to scream. This could not be real!
What was going on?
Snickers, snorts, and whispers popped up around me, and I jerked my head when the girl sitting next to me laughed out loud. She smirked, with her phone in her hand, and I could only stare in horror as she flashed me her screen. No, no, no. The same sordid video played on her phone.
As I looked around, my eyes wide, I knew others in the class were seeing the same video message.
This can’t be happening! I struggled to take in breath after breath as my brain worked to figure what the hell was going on. My eyes burned with tears that didn’t fall, and I felt like I was on another planet.
No, this is not real. It’s not…I shook my head, trying to wake up from this nightmare.
I couldn’t stop the tremors rocking through my fingers. I glanced back down to my phone and backed out of the video. The text accompanying the message read: “She was a great f**k. Who wants her next?”
My chest shook with dry sobs.
The message came from his phone. It was sent to everyone.
Madame called out, trying to get the class focused, “Écoutez, s’il vous plaît.”
I stood up shakily, pulled my bag over my head and hurried out of the room. The laughs and taunts behind me were like white noise. They were there. They were always f**king there. Fuck me for getting comfortable.
Why didn’t I listen to my instincts? I knew I couldn’t trust him. Why was I so weak?
I held my stomach, trying to hold back the cries, wails, and screams that I wanted to let loose. My lungs felt stretched from the deep, fast breaths I’d been taking.