"I like the feeling of having him here to squeeze." Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
“Belleville High, right?”
I hang my head, chin lolling down so that my eyes are dead-set on the grey carpet of Pete’s Ferrari, and take a deep breath in a desperate attempt to gain some courage for the captivating punk boy sat at the wheel. The captivating punk boy with a swollen nose obstructing the caramel tan of his velvety skin.
Because my big brother punched him, simply for holding me whilst I slept on Saturday morning. It’s now Monday and the two still aren’t talking to each other, just glaring or snarling or various other things that make my heart twist around itself tight enough for me to feel suffocated by fear. I know whose fault it is too; mine. They’d probably be getting along like the moon and the stars if it weren’t for me being here, an annoying little obstruction who manages to ruin absolutely anything no matter how hard I try to be good. It seems that the harder I try, though, the worse I get.
That’s what Dad used to tell me anyway, that I’ll always be bad no matter what I do and that he was doing me a favour by trying to beat it out of me.
Perhaps if he still was then I wouldn’t be as bad as I am now.
No. Gerard told me Dad didn’t mean any of what he said, that it was the alcohol making him say it and so it’s nothing but a load of bullshit. Apart from there’s got to be some truth to it; why else would my own father beat me up? There had to be some reason for him to want to start it and me being bad, as was his reasoning, is the only thing that I can think. Me being bad and selfish and stupid and ugly and fat. So I try to be good and helpful and study hard and lose weight. He still hates me though, just like all of the kids at school do. They hurt me almost as badly as Dad used to, on the inside more than the out, and there’s absolutely nothing to do to stop it.
The thought puts a bitter twist on the fact that I’m in a car with Pete Wentz, the boy who calls me Sweetness and makes me feel special when I normally feel like dirt. As he did all day yesterday after we swapped cell numbers, allowing us to communicate without Gee knowing. He told me so many pretty little lies about me having nice eyes, a cute face, a sexy jaw and shiny personality. I know that they were lies, that he was only taking pity on the stupid kid with nothing, but It’s nice to pretend that he meant it. Just like it was nice when we were pressed against each other in the bathroom, our faces leaning in until my silly stomach-growl ruined it all. Because I think that we were about to kiss, as mad as it may sound after having known him for a day I wanted to kiss him. But he just makes me feel so safe, so secure, so like I’m better than getting hurt or teased every day. So now it’s impossible for me to describe how much I want to kiss him after knowing him for a collection of days as opposed to just one.
Which is why I should be making the most of being sat next to him in his fancy car, our knees touching over the gearstick and sending tiny electrical sparks all over my skin. I’m not though, because I know exactly what will be waiting for me when I get there; Jake Jordan and his gang, wondering why I like wearing black or why I’m too shy to act like a normal person. Or perhaps they’ll just be stressed out and in need of a human stress ball with not enough fight in him to punch back.
Either way, I’m definitely not looking forward to when Pete leaves me all alone at the school gate, wondering if Gee will still be at home when I return and jumping at the sight of my own pathetic shadow.
I guess I should just count myself lucky that I’ve managed to hitch a lift with the one boy who can actually make me feel like I’m important because I know it’s not family loyalty that’s forcing him to be kind to me. After all, if it weren’t for ‘Trick I wouldn’t even have been able to get to Pete’s car. He told Gerard that Pete had some business to attend to near the school so it only made sense for him to give me a lift seeing as none of the rest of us actually know how to drive. It was more than that though, when he was convincing Gee he had big, puppy-dog eyes staring into Gerard’s own and a hand resting on his shoulder, fingers almost tickling my brother’s neck. If I didn’t know any better I might think that there’s something going on between ‘Trick and Gee. But Gerard’s not even gay.
If he is he would’ve told me. I know he would have; we tell each other everything. Even if I do try my best to play down the bullying to him; the last thing he needs is me winging about problems that I most likely caused myself.
But that doesn’t stop me from being absolutely petrified of returning to school for the first time since Mom died. Because I know that I’ll be coming home with at least a split lip and a fresh black eye painting over the faded bluey-black of the old one.
“Sweetness?” Pete purrs softly, resting a hand at the top of my thigh, dangerously close to my skinny jean zipper, and making my breathing even more of a struggle through the dizziness of his touch combined with the panic at the thought of what’s going to happen to me today. “Mikey!”
I take my eyes off of the tanned hand resting on my bony thigh, thumb tracing soft patterns as though it’s perfectly normal to be one step away from molestation with some freak that no-one like Pete should ever waste his time on, and lift my head to see him staring at me; forest-brown eyes two huge buckets of concern.
And that’s when it hits me; I’m shaking.
Properly shaking like my skin is resting on top of a rumbling volcano and my breathing is coming out in short, ragged gasps. All because I’m a fucking coward when it comes to school. When it comes to people in general. Not Pete though; Pete’s nice to me, makes me feel like a normal kid, but better.
“Shit, Sweetness, you gotta calm down, ‘kay?”
I try my bestest to nod, but my body just won’t respond to it’s orders. And that just makes me panic even more.
“Okay, okay, c’mere, Sweetness.” As his honey-and-lemon words register in my thrashing mind, a pair of strong arms pull me across the car and into a warm lap. An action that would normally make me flip out completely because people usually only touch me to hit me or slap me, but right now it feels nice; because it’s Pete’s lap that I’m being pulled into, a place that feels even safer than Gerard’s bed after a nightmare. “I got you. It’s gonna be okay. Just breathe for me, Sweetness, breathe. Feel my chest against your back; we’re going to do it together.”
It takes a second for me to fully realise that I’m pressed right against the solid wall of his chest, my right cheek flopped against his shoulder and my hands gripping desperately onto his knees as though letting go would mean never feeling him against me again. His arms are around me like a seatbelt, making the feeling of security amplify. But so is my panic; I can barely breathe right now and the car seems to be twenty sizes too small to hold me. If that really was the case though, it wouldn’t be taking me to school and then I’d have nothing to fret over.
I’ve got to focus right now, it’s what Pete wants me to do and it’s the very least I owe him for being so nice to me.
So that’s what I do; try to hone in every ounce of my waning mentality on his ribs and what they cradle tightly within them, just like Pete’s cradling me. His lungs, making his chest rise and fall exaggeratedly for me so that I can regain my own sense of inhalation-exhalation.
“Ready?” This time I manage to nod, squeezing deep into his skin-tight white jeans to help me concentrate. And because I like the feeling of having him here to squeeze. “Okay, Sweetness. In.” He takes a huge gasp of air, chest inflating and helping me to do the same. “And out.” I let it go after holding it a few seconds too long, trying my hardest to keep up with his calming voice. “In.” Inhale. “And out.” Exhale. “Good boy, Sweetness.” I beam at his gentle praise, feeling very much like I’ve just won an Olympic event for having earned his approval. “Keep it up, Sweetness. In.” He pauses, waiting for me to follow his gentle order. “And out.”
I carry on with the heavy panting, a steady feeling of relief swamping me as the world stops swirling around me, as Pete does the same. A funny sensation prickling at my stomach when the thought hits me that I’m sat on Pete Wentz’s lap, the two of us panting and clinging onto one another as though our lives depend on it. If only the cause of the panting was something other than… Other than whatever the hell that was. I don’t care about what the fuck it was, only that it was horrible and frightening, making me think of all the times that someone’s hurt me at school.
Just like they’re going to be doing in half an hour’s time when Pete abandons me at the gates of hell with not even a glass of ice water for defence. I can’t resent him for it though; he’s going above and beyond just by driving me there instead of making me take the bus like I normally do.
I shudder slightly when I feel Pete’s nose nuzzling into my hair, a warm tuft of his hot breath making the back of my neck tingle and the rest of my body melt even further into him. This could be so perfect if only I wasn’t me; the anxiety-ridden angst poster child with abandonment issues, the one too scared to actually want to believe that Pete is meaning this hold in anything other than a friend trying to help. Apart from something inside of me is screaming that he’s doing this to me, for me, because he cares about me. And not just in a friendly way. In the kind of way that makes me feel like everything might just turn out to be okay after all.
“Strawberries, Sweetness.” He mutters dreamily, nose raking through my hair one last time. “You smell like strawberries. Strawberries and sugar, but sweeter, Sweetness.” His soft whisper, melting into my ears like the velvety seduction of microwaved chocolate, makes my face burn blood red at the thought of him truly thinking that I’m really that sweet. I’m not sweet though, I’m just some ugly little freak in need of a good beating. “You okay now?”
I turn my head to be on it’s other cheek so I can look up into Pete’s face. Not just his face; his eyes and his lips. Those eyes that seem to be glazed over with longing for something that I can’t quite get and speckled with rampant worry for the silly little kid who gets frightened at practically anything. Those lips that appear to be pulsating, pursed and desperate for something to do.
Just as that thought registers I feel a soft pinprick on my pale forehead, tinging it a bright pink. Pete just kissed me. On the forehead. Like Gee does. But nicer, lips lingering as though taking in my taste and pulling back up in a dragged-out process, lasting just long enough for me to decide that I like the hot flush of his lips on my skin. Not just like it; adore it more than anything else I’ve ever experienced. It’s like a firework was set off against my skin, the pretty little sparks of affection flying all over the place and into my veins, making me positively euphoric. Because Pete Wentz kissed me on the forehead.
Because Pete Wentz really does care. Perhaps even as much as I care about him.
Robbed of breath once more, this time in the most pleasurable way possible, I just nod limply, causing Pete to giggle from above me. His giggle reminds me of bubble-gum bubbles floating up into the air and bursting into sugary sweetness, just like he calls me.
“Good.” He sighs, carefully lifting me away from him and motioning for me to return to my seat but replacing his hand on my thigh. “Have you ever had a panic attack before?”
“Panic attack?” I squeak back, stopping to consider the idea of that being what I just experienced. “Is that what that was?”
He looks at me sadly, hand stroking up and down my leg in a way that makes everything in me go absolutely insane at his silkily sinful touch.
“I think so, Sweetness.” He replies after thinking for a while, hand slowing down to an almost agonizing pace. “Wanna talk about it? I’m more than happy to listen to you. Anything, anything at all that’s bothering you, I want to hear about it, Sweetness. Anything.”
The fact that I haven’t eaten anything since Saturday purely because Pete wasn’t allowed close enough to spoon-feed me in a way that makes eating seem like something good instead of something that will just make me even uglier. The fact that I’ve been having these horrible dreams that I can’t wake up from, where Gee turns out like Dad and they both hurt me together. The fact that I want to just curl up in Pete’s lap until everything else in the world is dead and can’t hurt me anymore. Right now though, the one that’s the most prominent is the fact that I’m about to go to school; also known as Hell, or the boxing arena where the punch bag is some dork named Mikey Way.
Can I really talk to him though? Or will he just laugh at me for being so babyish?
I don’t care anymore; I just want him to comfort me.
“School. I-I…” I tail off, the embers of courage falling from me as I try desperately to finish my pathetic little cry for help. But then I feel Pete’s other hand, the one that isn’t tracing the inside edge of my thigh, grab my own and I know that I can do this; that I can trust him as much as trust Gee. Maybe even more. “I’m scared, Pete.”
This is normally the part where I’d drop my eyes in shame, burn crimson and then try with all my might to just disappear from potentially disapproving eyes. Not now though, now I’m gazing into Pete’s aching honey-browns, the two of us lost in the moment of being together and a strange determination in his eyes to make everything all better for me even though it’s only bad because I am bad myself.
But that doesn’t stop me from yearning for Pete’s help.
“Bullies, huh?” He asks, making the process a whole lot easier with his sympathetic tone.
“Yeah.” My voice comes out as a whisper, doused in shame and pain in equal measure. “They beat me up, Pete. They hurt me. Real bad.”
“Oh, Sweetness. No wonder you were so scared.” He hushes to me in a voice that makes me certain of two things amidst my constant uncertainty; the first being that Pete Wentz truly does care about me.
The second being that I love it. Love him. Too much for it to be a crush and too sincerely for it to not be true love. Not that I believe in that fairy-tale bullshit.
“Talk to me, Sweetness. I just wanna help you.” He cups my chin between his thumb and forefinger so that I can’t look away from the burning compassion painted onto his face. “Let me help you.”
And that’s all it takes to make me launch into him, Pete quickly reacting by wrapping his arms around me and holding my head to the area just above his heart; the area that permits my ear to hear his heartbeat like I always try to whenever I’m close to a person that I trust. I can hear it beating out a symphony of lullabies, telling me to tell Pete about it all. Because, deep down, I know that he can help. Even if Gee does hate his guts.
“They get mad at me all the time and I don’t get what I do wrong, Pete.” I rush the words out before shame can cork them back into my constricting throat. “They just hate me because I am me. Because I’m a pathetic little fr-“
His voice is quiet and clam compared to my hurried tone of hysteria, but it makes me stop in my sudden unexpected swarm of words. He starts to slowly rock me, my legs hanging down either side of his chair, and he presses his cheek flush against my own so that his lips are pressing against my ear. If it weren’t for the fact that my anxious nervousness is ravaging my soul right now, I would most likely be extremely hot and bothered by the wonder of his willingness to be so unbearably close to a loser like me. Instead I just cling onto him even tighter; letting him know that he’s doing all of the right things if he really does just want to help me.
Because he really fucking is.
“Mikey Way, they don’t hate you because you’re you. They hate you because they’re them; stupid idiots too blind to see that they’re destroying something beautiful.”
Oh. Oh, Pete. That’s the nicest thing anyone, Gerard included, has ever said to me. Not to mention that it’s the first time someone has said something that truly makes me doubt the bullies’ words and wisdom. Because I know that Pete wouldn’t lie to me, nor would he get it wrong. He’s too smart for that.
“So don’t you listen to any of their bullshit, Sweetness.” He whispers, lips nipping at my ear and making me squirm like a worm in too-rich soil. “You’re far too special to let them wreck you.”
I feel a set of teeth take a quick tug at my earlobe, making me choke on my breath and Pete chuckle madly as he once more replaces me in the passenger seat. Nobody’s ever done that to me before, but the moan it makes flee from my lips tells me that it’s a good thing. A very good thing. The kind of good thing that makes the world seem a better place for having said good thing occur in it. But at the same time it fills me with unease because, for all I know, I might just be some joke to Pete. A naive little kid for him to fuck-up even more. That’s what everyone else seems to think of me.
Then again, nobody else has ever done something to make me feel so special. So like I shouldn’t be getting hurt at all because someone cares about me enough to make every last one of my nerves tingle in delight.
“You need to smile more, Sweetness.” He smirks in that lovable way of his, fiddling his keys from his back pocket and into the ignition. “You look cute anyway, but smiling you look too fucking adorable. If I didn’t have to drive I don’t think I’d be able to keep my hands off you.”
A shock of laughter chokes it’s way out of my too-big mouth at his ridiculous statement of pure charm and flattery as he starts to pull out of the driveway, making my stomach do summersaults because there’s a part of me screaming at my mind to just believe his words. Of course, the fact that we’re zooming towards my place of torture doesn’t help the fact that my stomach seems to have detached itself from my body and is trying to crawl it’s way out of my throat.
Then it hits me like a two-tonne dagger of surprise.
“Yeah, Sweetness? I’m listening.”
There’s a certain ounce of smugness in his reply that makes my heart twinge in anticipation. Apart from I can’t get my hopes up; that only ever leads to disappointment. To me it does anyway, to guys like Pete I bet it only leads to even pleasanter surprises. Just like he deserves.
“School’s left.” I peep out, looking out of the window to confirm that we are indeed going in the wrong direction.
“And?” He grins, a dangerously wide beam splitting his face in two as a mirroring one threatens to overtake my features.
I won’t let it though, not until I know for certain that this isn’t some cruel trick or a simple slip-up on Pete’s part.
“We’re going right.”
He chuckles, a hand flying from the steering wheel to land on what is apparently his favourite part of me; my upper thigh. And, fuck, does it feel good.
“Oh, you didn’t think I was really gonna take you to school, did you?” He laughs again, trailing those slender fingers over the seam of my jet-black jeans in such a way that makes my mouth water. “No, Sweetness. Not if it makes you so scared. I could never do something like that to you.”
He pauses, everything about him commanding the entirety of my avid attention.
“We’re bunking, Sweetness. Together.”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading and I hope that this was alright! I’m currently suffering from a cold, so I apologize for this being far from my best. Anyway thanks for reading and huge, ginormous THANK YOU to anyone who has rated/reviewed this so far. Please let me know what you think! :)