Author's Note: My muse whom is running I Dare You is being such the awful bugger. After months of waiting, I continued on with the third chapter; however, my muse decided to give out on me and figured that a paragraph before the chapter ends he didn't want to be useful anymore. And then, just to spite me, he makes me write another story and delete that god-awful one, La Bella Notte. What I have to put up with…

Warning: Mature and contains profanity. The story's rating has been slightly wrongly been categorized but will be changed in the near future. If you're still irked by this, don't be an idiot – click the back button.

Her motions were simple, sinuous, hands creeping up his shirt, triggering a familiar anticipation that flowed through his veins. A night like this occurred many a time and he was no stranger to this sensual gamble of being caught in a substantial act that concerned two people into casual relationships. He loved the risk, loved being a part of an atmosphere that hypnotized him again and again into a bed with beautiful women. Sometimes he would just cuddle up to them or kiss them with vigour and passion or take a platonic relationship to a new level, only to break it off at night's end.

The party that transpired downstairs continued without him and the sophisticated woman beneath him as they rocked to a rhythm that they could only hear and feel. His skillful hands removed her garments that covered the luscious body underneath whilst hers fumbled for his jeans. Their breaths mingled in the air, fogging up the room they currently occupied, and with the humid weather that continued to rest on Everglades, it only heightened their desire.

Suddenly, the door to the room swung open and revealed a young man of eighteen-years who howled with laughter at the scene that was taking place in front of him.

"Zack, buddy, you're a class act!" He laughed and shook his head.

Charity carefully shrugged Zack off of her and glared at the boy leaning against the doorframe, struggling to choke down his amusement. She held the blanket up to her chest, picked up a pillow nearby, and threw it at the invader.

"Axel, you're such a jerk!" She fumed. "Whatever happened to privacy?"

Zack, on the floor, casually combed a hand through his spiky, ebon locks, aquamarine eyes dancing mirthfully. With a grin, he looked at Charity and shrugged.

"It's a public party, babe." That said, Zack zipped up his pants, shrugging on his white, button-down shirt without bothering to fasten it back up. "Hey, it was fun while it lasted."

Charity gaped.

Sure, she knew the consequences for roughing things up with Zack Tazer, but she was sure – so sure – that he would have changed his mind about her. After all, they've kept their companionable relationship up for months that seemed like eternity. She would think that she would mean something to him by now.

With a parting wink, he closed the guestroom door behind him, joining his friend in laughter.

She growled.

Obviously not.



It was an upsetting month for the teenagers of Everglades; it was the welcoming month back to the local school, Everglades High. It was also the start of impending autumn heat. Then again, Everglades was a town best known for its perfect – albeit hot at times – weather.

Buses were now crowded with boisterous teens, cars congested the streets, and other children filled the sidewalks.

It was yet another ordinary day of daily life.

"Freshman year was utter hell. What do you think our sophomore year is like?"

Vierge Rizelle looked at the school with her friend, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

Boom popped the gum in her mouth before wrinkling her nose with a thoughtful glimmer in her eyes. "Possibly worse. I mean, with every year that passes by it gives the teachers a reason to strike you down with more homework. To think my mom actually enrolled me here."

Vierge rolled her eyes and smirked apparently amused with her friend's comment.

"So, tell me, how's Rafe doing?"

Her friend snorted. "That bastard's doing just fine. In fact, he's doing so fine that we've taken a break on our relationship. You know, I even doubt you could call it a relationship. It only consisted of a bed anyway."

"Boom!" She gawked, eyes wide with incredulity.

Boom laughed and gave her friend an amiable pat on the back.

"Sorry. I forget that I'm talking to an all-virgin-ears sort of girl, eh? You would think that I'd have made a dent in you after all these years." She grinned.

"Maybe this year will be different."

"Ha. Maybe."

The first bell of the day reverberated around the school grounds, ceasing conversation.

"Shit, we're late." They said in unison before walking, grudgingly, into the school.

Zack rounded his car into the parking lot and parked in his designated area before turning off his engine, the loud music in his car dying along with it. He stepped out of his black convertible and retrieved a spiral notebook with a pen jammed into its binding from the back seat.

"Hey, man!"

He turned around and greeted his bud, Axel, with their handshake. He removed the cigarette stick between his lips and blew out a puff of gray smoke.

"Hey. So, did you hear anything about Charity? I feel like such a shit-head after I ditched her at the party."

Axel laughed heartily before lighting up a cigarette for himself.

"You should be. Heard she was pouting all evening once she found out you left and decided to 'seek' comfort in that other dick, Carter." Axel informed. "I still have no idea why you hooked up with that chick."

The two friends sauntered their way over to the school, disposing of their cigarettes before they reached the entrance.

Zack shrugged. "It was all nice in the beginning, but it's getting annoying. It's like she wants something from me when I have nothing to give."

"Except sex."

"I can only give what the ladies want." He grinned.

Axel chuckled. "A class act, man. A class act."

"Zack Tazer!"

He winced at the sound of his name. He looked to his friend for confirmation and sighed monotonously as he nodded.


Without turning around, he said, "Look, Charity. What part of 'one-time' don't you get?"

There was a silent pause for a mere second – or so he wished to believe or was sure of it – before she snorted in disgust.

"You could have at least told me you were going to leave me!" She screeched, stomping her foot for exaggeration.

Axel strode up to the leggy girl and rested an arm casually on her shoulder, to which she responded by dismissing it off with annoyance, her dark eyes twitching, daring him to try it again.

"Charity. You've known Zack for a long time, and by now you should understand his warped, very warped mentality." Zack glared; he continued, "Girls like you are nothing but meat to him, to us men. Get used to it. Oh yeah. And you were too clingy to begin with."

Zack stifled what seemed like a chuckle but was more of a grunt.

Charity's eyes flickered back from one boy to the other and then with a huffy resentfulness, she jabbed Zack in the shoulder. Hard. Hard enough for him to turn around.

"You don't know how much it hurts, do you?"

"You knew what was coming when you hooked up with me, Charity." He said in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Yeah, well, for once in your life try getting emotionally attached to someone. And if and when you do, I hope the girl dumps you for what you're worth – which isn't saying much – and then you'll know what hurt feels like."

Axel snickered.

Then, with one more huff, she stomped in the opposite direction.

"That's exactly the reason why I don't hook up with chicks like her." Axel shook his head. "Are you aware that she just challenged you? Indirectly, anyway. Hell, she's saying you couldn't even be in a relationship. But hey, good for you."

The two youths laughed.