Jessi Byron jogged breathlessly through the desolate halls of Tampa Preparatory school. Being late for class wasn't an uncommon thing for the young blonde, but having no friends to query it and teachers that were placated enough by his excellent grades to look the other way, he continued to be late on a near daily basis. Skidding to a stop at his locker he turned the combination and pulled hard on the door, it took a few attempts but it had a habit of sticking. Inside there were a vast array of books, all of which were far beyond what one might expect a high school student to be reading. But Jessi liked to read, he consumed knowledge with an ease that left most people dumbfounded. Perhaps it was because he had few distractions from reading, books were his escape, and the only one he had in truth.

The mirror that was on the door, left there from the previous owner, reflected a boy who rarely smiled. His sad pale blue eyes were distinctive in that occasionally in the right light they looked turquoise, but all in all, living in a State filled with blue eyed, blonde haired beauties Jessi didn't stand out. His pale, almost white blonde hair fell down around his neck and brushed the top of his shoulders. Though messy and often chaotic, it was clean and almost impossibly soft which meant it rarely did what he wanted it to do, thus he had given up trying to control it despite the lectures he got from his mother. His tall, thin frame was of a teenager who had grown quickly over a short period of time and has yet to fill out properly.

Reaching a hand out to the shelf to pull out a physics book almost entirely on auto pilot, he yanked it back just in time to keep his arm from being trapped in the door before it slammed harshly shut. He flinched ever so slightly as the door clanged loudly against the frame, the noise echoing down the corridor but his eyes moved up from the floor and instead of looking at his own reflection which he had been second before; he was looking into the dark eyes of Joshua Hayward.

A malicious grin spread across Josh's perfectly sculpted face. Men were not supposed to be beautiful, but Josh was. That fact still allowed him to keep an air of boyishness about himself, somehow, but Jessi suspected that it might well be because Josh tried so hard to refine his masculinity. He ran a hand through his spiked light brown hair, chewed fingernails and sport calloused fingers, as his bright blue eyes danced with mischief. Josh's arms were toned and subtly muscular and from doing Phys-Ed with him the past two years, Jessi knew that toned physique ran down his stomach where there was a hard six-pack, a delicious 'v' of hip bone that disappeared teasingly beneath the elastic of his boxers to somewhere that Jessi was not comfortable admitting he looked, yet.

"So Byron, late again?" Josh sneered "what is this time?" His tone was drawling, uninterested, yet by the very fact he had gone out of his way to instigate contact it was obvious that tormenting the other boy was one of his preferred pastimes. "Did your mother need help getting last night's clientele out of the house?" Another pause, Jessi met the other boys eyes for a second but then folded his arms across his chest and looked away. "Or was it your Daddy dearest this time giving her the old heave hoe." Smirking at his own pun Josh arched an eyebrow, he opened his mouth to speak again but was interrupted.

"Mr. Byron, Mr. Hayward. I believe you're both in my class now" the older man paused for a feigned look at the watch on his wrist before looking back to the teens "and I believe that the bell went at least fifteen minutes ago. I suggest you both get in here now, before I give you detention all week and not just tonight after school." With that Mr. Barnes disappeared back into his classroom, overly polished shoes clicking against the polished floor.

"Great." Josh seethed, his tongue darting out and licking his bottom lip unconsciously, "see you later, Byron" and leaving that threat hanging in the air, he stormed after the physics teacher.

Jessi tried to fight the tears in his eyes from Josh's predictable tirade of insults. By all accounts he should be used to it, at least by now. When they were kids they had been the best of friends, closer than anybody really should be, their parents had joked that they had been attached at the hip. However, for some reason they had grown apart. Josh had become the king of high school, whereas Jessi had become a loner, shying away from most social contact.

He opened his locker again and as he grabbed his book his eyes caught the mirror which now had a single, dangerous looking crack running through the length of it. Jessi lowered his gaze and closed the door gently. It wasn't the first time that the door had suffered such abuse, but it was the first time it had shown any outward signs of assault.

Inside the classroom, Josh was quiet. He had tortured Jessi a lot, but this time he was almost sure he had seen tears in the other boy's eyes. The classroom door opened and Jessi walked in, Josh didn't mean to watch him but he couldn't help it.

As the blonde took his seat at the front of the classroom the only thing he focused on was the teacher. Something was wrong though, he felt eyes on the back of his head, and as he turned around hesistantly, his stomach knotted as he imagined everybody staring at him. His cheeks were still burning from the altercation with Hayward, this certainly wasn't helping.


Nobody was looking at him; most people were focused on the teacher, some were talking amongst themselves. Except Josh, who was simply gazing towards the window. Jessi blinked and turned back to facing the front his fears somewhat alleviated.

Josh sighed, he saw Jessi turn to watch him in the glass and he tried his best to deny the feelings that were bubbling just below the surface.

Rewritten, Jan 2012 ©Effbyeff