*Slash* ..::The Brothers::.. [01]

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Under the pretence of rooting through my locker, I looked out from under my fringe and watched Caleb Cartwright standing outside the door to our English class, joking with and shoving his friends. It was unusual that he even came to school, so it was a rare treat to be able to watch how his dark grey skinny jeans sagged around his skinny ass, how his black hoodie sat on his shoulders, how he occasionally flicked his head every now and again to get his black hair out of his eyes.

 'Checking him out again?' I heard to my right, and my head snapped around to face Alana, my best friend, as my cheeks burned red.

 'No, don't be sick,' I muttered, rooting through my locker for real this time. The bell was about to go and if I didn't have my English book Mr Brooks would skin me alive.

 'Call me weird-'

'You're weird.'

'-but I think it's kinda hot.'

'You're weird.'

Alana raised an eyebrow at me. 'I'm not the one who fancies my-'

'Shut up!' I hissed, looking around frantically. Alana has a naturally loud voice; I try to keep private conversations from happening anywhere there might be a another living breathing person within, say, a hundred mile radius, but she doesn't seem to like playing along. 'I don't fancy him.'

Alana scoffed. 'You so do.'

I ignored her, shuffling past Caleb and his friends, who were still roughing each other up and laughing, and slid into my seat in the English classroom, Alana sitting down at the desk beside mine.

Caleb walked in shortly afterwards, followed by Jayden and Peyton (the twins), and Rain, Damien, and Dylan. Embarrassingly, they all ruffled my hair as they walked past, even though I'm only a year younger than them (I was skipped ahead a class), and Caleb muttered, 'Alright, Squirt?' as gave me the noogie from hell. I knew then that he was probably high as a kite, because he's usually quite moody on the days he deigns to show his face at school.

As soon as Caleb was seated at the back with the others, passing around a jumbo sized packet of crisps and leaning on the back legs of their chairs, Alana passed me a note, which I opened under the table as Mr Brooks had walked in and was trying to call order. I glanced down at the opened piece of lined copy paper in my hands to see a crude cartoon drawing of a guy who looked vaguely like me getting, by the look on "my" face, painfully pounded from behind by a guy who looked vaguely like Caleb. She'd even signed it.

'You're sick,' I hissed, stuffing the page in my bag roughly before Mr Brooks could see me with it and demand to look at it. Alana just laughed at me, opening her copy of the novel we were studying, Bel Canto, and facing forward like the little kiss-ass she was.

Not that I could really talk, I suppose. I had been skipped ahead a year after all, but that wasn't my fault. I didn't study particularly hard, I didn't even pay a hell of a lot of attention, I was bored in most of my classes, finding them too easy, and so this was the solution. I already got a fair bit of mocking over it so I wasn't about to let anyone in on the fact that I was bored out of my mind in these classes too. I could not go to college at sixteen. No, that wasn't an option.

What seemed like an eternity later (but was only thirty five minutes) the bell went again and we were mercifully allowed to leave. English was the last class of the day and I could almost hear my bed beckoning me from across town.

'Are you going to frame my picture and glue it to the ceiling so you can fall asleep looking at it every night?' Alana asked as we packed up our things.

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