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Pictures of You

Chapter 1

The Gutsy Boy

Julian

Mistake number one; daring two of my best girl friends to kiss in the canteen. To be fair, they were the ones that complained about how guys were scared to show too much affection while girls were much more open with one another. They weren't afraid like us. I was just a tool in their manipulative plot.

A tool that said, "Affectionate are you? I dare you to kiss then, right here." They were supposed to refuse, to say, "Alright Julian, you got us there. Maybe we're not so affectionate after all." Not turn to one another and start making out so, uh, openly and turning me on just a little.

Why was this a mistake? Didn't I get a good enough show? Of course I did. There was just one small thing I didn't take into account.

The mistake in my seemingly flawless idea was of course, completely forgetting that they would set a dare of a very similar nature in retaliation.

They pull away from one another wearing identical smirks. Ignoring several wolf whistles sent their way, they turn to face me with those evil smirks. I pull at my shirt and avoid their gazes.

"Julian."

"Yes?" I answer innocently.

My best friend Celina puts her hands on slender hips. Her long dark hair is messed up slightly where Alice was running her hands through it. "You know what we have to do next don't you?"

"No." I continue to play dumb.

Celina of course, doesn't buy this for one second. She opens her mouth to speak but Alice beats her to the punch. "I dare you to kiss Ryan or Kyle!" She never was very tactful.

I raise an eyebrow and glance doubtfully at the aforementioned boys, both shooting Alice death glares, neither terribly grateful to have been brought into a game they were trying to stay out of. They much preferred to observe and I didn't blame them.

"No way!" Kyle yells indignantly, jumping backwards and nearly tripping over the bench behind him.

Ryan just shakes his head. "Pick someone else dude."

Like I was just going to jump them then and there. "Am I not good enough for either of you?" I ask insulted.

They shake their heads, I shrug and turn back to Celina and Alice with a smug smile. "I guess you'll just have to think of something else."

Celina ignores this, "We'll just have to pick out someone else for you."

My mouth drops open. "I don't think so."

Alice shakes her head sadly, "These two are just a pair of wimps. Prove to us that you are a true guy Julian; prove to us that you are a guy with guts."

I narrow my eyes at them. They're going to play dirty, take a swing at my pride. They'd lord it over my head for days if I back out of this.

Of course I want to prove to them I had guts, I just don't like the methods. I narrow my eyes, "Fine. How do I prove to you I'm not like these idiots?"

"Not cool." Ryan mutters.

They give me a look that turns my insides to stone. Celina grins, "We'll just pick you a guy at random and-"

"No."

Alice pouts, her bottom lip quivering slightly. I hate it when she pulls that face. "Guess we'll just have to deal with the fact that we have three cowardly little boys as friends."

I sigh. "This could be seen as sexual assault you know. I am going to get punched."

Celina raises an eyebrow, "Does mean you'll do it?"

"If you don't care that I'm going to get done for sexual assault, or punched in the face, or both."

Evidently they don't. Both girls' faces break out into grins and I vow that if this experience doesn't kill me then I'm going to invest in some new friends.

"Go for a weakling." Ryan advises, staring intently at a crisp before sticking it in his mouth with a crunch. He only looks bored now he's off the hook.

I ignore him. "I really don't want a huge dent in my face. Personally I quite like it as it is."

"Not my face, not my problem." Celina replies.

That's cold. "It will be when I come after you."

"Oh, I'm so terrified." Celina says with a yawn. "Let's get on with this. Who shall we go for?"

Alice runs a hand through her hair, analysing each unsuspecting teenage boy in turn before her eyes suddenly light up as they land on somebody in the distance. "I've got just the person."

I can guess the person she's talking about as soon as she speaks. As I swivel round quickly, I pray that I'm wrong.

No such luck. The colour drains from my face as my eyes land on Taveon Morgan, hidden in the corner, contently chatting with his only friend. He remains blissfully unaware of the girls and their devious plot.

Taveon Morgan is one of those typical weird kids, you know, the ones you find lurking in the darkest corner of the school. He is one year younger than me and nowhere near as cool. Once upon a time, we used to be friends. Sort of. Now he never speaks to me.

I met him when I was five and he was four. Tav was relatively new to the school atmosphere and was sitting alone on a school bench when I had accidentally kicked a sponge ball into his face. The boy instantly took offence.

Though hard to imagine now, Tav had once been taller than me. I felt slightly inferior to the kid who was younger and should therefore, have been shorter. Still, I apologised and was about to grab my ball back when Tav snatched it from my reach and began to scold me.

This did not go down well. I kicked his ankle and he fell over with a yelp. While he was distracted, I snatched my ball back and ran off with my tongue sticking out. Still, despite this we came to know one another. We joined many of the same school clubs and had ourselves a spirited but healthy rivalry going on, until I finally left for senior school.

I wasn't too surprised when Tav joined the same school. It was one of the best Grammar schools around and he was a smart kid. We interacted occasionally, though not often. There was a year between us and we ran in different circles. I joined a few clubs but he just wanted to fade into the background and stay out of the limelight.

This was fine until one day, along with Roddie, who is possibly one of the noisiest people in the year if not the school, I caught Tav kissing another boy and it was all over for him. People can be unnecessarily cruel to somebody who is seen to be outside of the norm. Tav was no exception.

It may have been Roddie and his loud mouth at fault but Tav has since blamed me for outing him like that and making him a target. He'd given me one last look of hurt and betrayal before ceasing all communication between us. He continues to hold a grudge and the fact that he blamed me and only me still pisses me off.

"There is no way." I state firmly, "I would rather die."

"Tough luck." My so-called friend replies.

"You better get going." Alice shoves me in Tav's direction.

I glance back at my friends; all of them are watching me with anticipation, along with a few other eavesdroppers peering over their shoulders with curiosity.

I glance over at my friends, wondering if anyone's going to come to my rescue. No takers. All of them are watching me with anticipation-along with a few other eavesdroppers peering over their shoulders. I stare at them, trying my best to make them feel guilty.

They don't look guilty in the least.

"He is defiantly going to punch me." I mutter.

"He might slap you," Kyle says sounding thoughtful. "At least that would leave less of a mark."

I spin round clenching my fists and mutter a string of curses under my breath as I stride towards Tav. My alleged friends follow, keeping a fair distance away. A wise choice.

Tav remains oblivious to the drama about to unfold until his friend elbows him in the side, he looks up and notices me a mere metre away from him and getting closer still, at first he looks surprised. Then he scowls and stands quickly, ready for a fight.

I take a deep breath and in one long stride, am standing face to face with Tav, his large brown eyes stare up at me, wide with confusion and multiple emotions I couldn't even begin to read.

"What do you want?"

His voice surprises me, even this close I still expected the cold shoulder.

I just keep staring. Trying to compose myself, this is ridiculous, it's not a big deal just a stupid dare and it'll all be over in a moment. The girls will never tease me for being cowardly and my pride will remain intact.

"Hey, I said, what do you want?" There is evident concern growing on Tav's face. Either that or fear for my sanity.

Mistake number two; actually following through with the dare. I steady myself by taking a deep breath, then surprise the other boy by grabbing a hold of the side of his face and smashing our lips together.

His eyes are wide and unblinking while I squeeze mine shut so I don't have to look into them. It's certainly not a great kiss and I pull away before Tav can even process what has happened.

I quickly rub my mouth on the sleeve of my shirt while behind me, my friends crack up laughing.

"What the-" Tav's voice comes out all croaky.

Glancing down, I find Tav touching his now slightly red lips in shock while looking up at me in horror. It may not have been the best kiss he'd had in his life but it didn't mean he had to glare at me like I'd gone and run over a puppy.

Tav clears his throat, "What was that for?" he asks, voice angry, fists clenched by his side. His face is bright red.

Unsure what to do I smirk. Tav flinches.

I don't even notice the fist heading towards my face until it's too late.


A/N: Edited 21/08/15