Thank you to all those who reviewed/followed/favourited/gave constructive criticism! You're all so great! And I'm really sorry I took so long to update. I would say 'New year, new me' but I know I'll never change how bad I am at updating on time lol.

ALSO, I don't want to spoil aspects of this chapter, but it may seem as though I'm kind of copying the plot with Steve and Nancy but there's a reason for it…

Hope you enjoy!

Jude II

"I thought you said you were going to help me with my homework." I said from the foot of his bed. Steve smiled and leant up from his pillows, smirking with sharp teeth.

I had just answered one of his chem questions, it being the subject he sucked the most at which was surprising really – chem for me had always been as easy as breathing. The other non-science related subjects, however, were not so easy. So, I guess I could understand that he was bad at something, but I didn't understand how that something could be chem. Although, I supposed that after he told me how his dad had reacted to his report card last year, he must've sucked at more than that. More than most actually which was why I decided on helping him.

I had lied to my parents and Barb – a feat which I came closer to mastering each time I did it. Despite Steve's heated words in the quarry, we had yet to 'study each other' and had instead looked over his homework.

"Yeah, well, I guess it turned out I needed more help than you." Steve said as he threw his pencil onto his test paper.

"You just need more practice." I said.

"Yeah, that'll help." He said after scoffing.

"Hey, it will." I said as I inched closer to him. "It will. Practise makes perfect."

"How do you even know this stuff?" He fixed his eyes on me. "You're, like, two years younger than me."

"My dad's a bit of a nerd." I said, head nodding away from him. "He used to teach me stuff."

Steve's head titled as his lips pursed. "You're like, smart, right?"

"Well, not really." I shrugged as my teeth caught my bottom lip.

"Okay, cut the crap, Jude." He said. "You're smart."

"Your point?" I nodded for him to carry on, ignoring his use of my actual name.

"If you're so smart then why are we studying right now?" He said, slyly as his body inched its way to mine. "We could be doing other… more stimulating… things."

"Oh?" I said as my teeth let my lip go free a slight pop.

"Yeah." Steve climbed over to me, coming closer until his face and body loomed over mine.

"More 'stimulating'?" I let out a small huff of a laugh. "Like what?"

"Like this." He smiled as he pressed his lips to mine.

His tongue parted my lips. Tingles spread down my spine. The thin hair on my arms rose as his tongue brushed along mine with soft strokes.

He changed our position and lay me down, our teeth clashing as we settled. Sweet shivers tickled my spine again as his mouth trailed to my jawline. I pressed myself into him as I grasped his hair.

Neither of us payed attention to the rumple of his test paper under us or the door as it opened.

"Oh!" A female voice said.

We sat up. Gasps escaped our wet lips.

My eyes took in the intruder. A woman, blonde, with icy eyes so wide and marble-like that at any moment her two marbles could roll out from her sockets and tumble onto the floor.

"Mom!" Steve said, as he scrambled to sit on the edge of the bed. "Hey."

"Who's this?" She asked, marble eyes still firmly in place.

"Uh, this is Jude-"

"I'm Judy." I interrupted. "Hi." I said as I waved, awkward.

"I'm Mrs Harrington." She smiled tightly, her flawless skin barely creased.

"We were studying." Steve tried to explain but his mom held out a hand for him to stop.

"I know what you were doing." She said, her eyes wide as they fixed onto the floor. "Are you planning on staying for dinner, Jude-y?"

"Uh, no. Sorry." I replied. "My mom's expecting me."

"Okay. Steve, I came here to tell you that dinner is almost ready. Your friend should think about leaving before that time." She said with a pretty smile on her face. "Keep your door open, honey."

"'Kay, Mom." Steve nodded.

She opened the door as wide as it would go and made sure it wouldn't move before she glanced back at us, gave another tight smile and left.

"I can't believe they let you have a girl in your room." I whispered. "And your mom was almost fine with us making out."

"They don't care about me. They're fine with it." He shook his head as he repositioned himself on the bed, lying back against the headrest. "As long as I don't knock you up."

I flinched at his nonchalance.

"Crap." He moved away from me to his crumpled homework and tried to flatten the paper out.

I resisted the urge to itch my neck which grew hotter each time his hands pressed to the paper. His hands had pressed at my waist like that. I wanted them to press onto me again, and in other places… but that had to wait. It had to. I couldn't be like those other girls. Like Becky, and Lori and… has he done it with Nancy too?

"Why do ya look so grumpy?" He said as he raised a hand to my chin. He held the tip of it between his fingers as he sat next to me again, his face near mine. His bottom lips stuck out to imitate the way I must've looked.

I sucked in my bottom lip and chewed on it as I drew back from him, removing my face from his grip.

"Hey... what's wrong?" He said, voice soft. In my peripheral I could see his head tilt as he leaned closer. "Have I done something?"

"You might have." My brow furrowed, and I sucked in a deep breath – a breath which was supposed to calm me, but it failed. I crossed my arms.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"You and Nancy." I turned to face him.

"Not this again." His eyes rolled.

"Did you and her do more than just…"

"Just what? Kiss?" He asked, eyebrows raised as his head tilted. "Of course not."

"It's just- I feel like I need to know because I don't want to be like Amy… or Becky and Lori. Or like Nancy. I don't want to just be a- a… fuck. But I don't want to be some girl you kiss and move on from either."

"Listen, you're not a slut." He said, callous. "And you're not just some girl either. You're different. I mean, you're great at chem for Christ's sake."

A small laugh bubbled up from my chest.

"And I…" Steve continued as he took hold of my hand. "I have fun with you. I really like you and I'd be honoured to do more than just…" He leaned in and brushed his lips against my ear before whispering, "…kiss your mouth."

"Where else would you kiss me?" I whispered as I tried and failed to ignore the heat pooling in my stomach.

His hand trailed along my neck, tracing the skin. "Here," he said. His hand went further down until it was over the thin fabric between my breasts. "Here," he whispered. "And…" His hand moved again and slid between my legs. "Here."

"Steve!" I said as I grabbed at his wrist and pulled it from that place. "The door's open."

"If the door was closed then would you let me kiss you there?" He sniggered.

My mouth was open; lips trembling; cheeks on fire – but they weren't as fiery as the heat between my legs.

I didn't answer him, and a grin grew on his face meaning he took my silence as a yes, but truthfully I wasn't sure.

"Y'know, if the problem is that my parents are here, they'll be gone by tomorrow." He said, voice pleased. There was no tension in his voice – there hadn't been earlier when he lightly joked about knocking me up. Though, I supposed he had no reason to stress: we hadn't even had sex yet. Yet.

"In time for the party you want me to come to, right?" I asked.

"You're coming to the party." He smirked, resting his face between the junction of my neck and shoulder with his hands tight on my waist.

"Oh, am I?" I asked into his thick hair.

"I'm not taking 'no' for an answer." He said as his nose traced up my neck. My answer (whether it be no or yes or maybe or never or always) was lost to me as soon as his lips found mine.

"I can't believe you're going to another party." Barb said from behind and I watched as her arms crossed in the mirror's reflection from my seat at the vanity. She still hadn't forgiven me for not telling her I was getting a ride home from Steve the other day.

This was typical Barb behaviour.

"There's only going to be like 4 people there, including me." I shrugged as I filed my nails. "So, it's not an actual party, duh."

"And on a school night." She shook her head as she ignored my statement. "You better be back before 12 or-"

"Or what? You'll tell mommy and daddy about me going out on, gasp, a school night?" I said, voice mocking her horror as I dropped my nail file onto the vanity.

She simply titled her head to the side.

"Look, I'm not going to do anything stupid." I said as I began to backcomb my hair.

"This time." She said, snide, as her head tilted further and was joined by an arched eyebrow.

I stilled my movement as I caught her eyes in the mirror. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Well, last time you did some pretty stupid things." She said, arms unfolding and flapping in the air like an undead thanksgiving turkey. "Like get drunk. Like coming home smelling of weed. And Freddie told me you actually spoke to Carol. Carol, of all people."

I sprayed hairspray and laughed at Barb's crumpled face when she breathed it in. She fanned away the fumes as she sent a glare my way. I rolled my eyes.

"Carol actually wasn't that bad." I said as I focused on perfecting my hair. "Not as bad as you make her out to be."

"I can't believe you just said that- no, wait, I can." She said as she plopped down on the bottom bunk of our bunkbed. "And, of course, there's the other stupid thing you did: you made out with Steve Harrington." She pointed at me.

"Just cool it, Barb." I said as I span to face her. "Just because you're jealous that I'm having a great time-"

"Jealous?" She laughed. "I'm jealous of you? Why do you think you're even acting out in the first place?"

"Go on. Tell me." I stood up and looked at her reflection. "Enlighten me."

"You are the one who's jealous." She said.

I shook my head and scoffed.

"You want mom and pop to pay attention to you. You think they only care about me, so you're acting out. But the truth is-"

"Get the fuck out!" I span around to face her as I pointed to the door.

"I'm your sister-"

"Not a very good one." I interrupted as I crossed my arms.

"Harrington just wants to get into your pants. It's obvious. You're either an idiot who doesn't see it, or an idiot who doesn't have any self-respect."

"Get out." I said. I blinked away wetness so it wouldn't drip past my waterline and ruin my make-up. Steve was picking me up soon, I didn't have time to reapply anything because Barb decided to open her stupid mouth.

"Just remember what I said." She frowned. "Don't do anything you'll regret. Promise?"

"I have to get dressed." I muttered. "Leave."

Barb's big eyes dropped from me as she headed to the door. Her hand fell on the doorknob. She turned it, opening it before stepping through. As it was closing, I spoke;

"Barb!"

"What?" She asked.

"I promise."

My wet clothes clung to me and I shivered with every step I took up the cream staircase.

I cursed Tommy. Earlier, he had laughed as he pushed Carol and Steve into the Harrington's pool. This had prompted me to try to help Steve out and he repaid my kind gesture by pulling me into the water with him, grinning slyly as he did so. The silver lining had been that the pool was heated, so at least I was warm – which was more than I could say for myself right now as I followed Steve to his room where dry clothes awaited me.

"Is your sister home?" I asked as we walked passed a door with a wooden butterfly hanger on it.

"No." He said, simply. He led me from her door, further along the dim hallway of his suddenly caliginous house.

"How is she anyway?" I said as we turned a corner and carried on, each step taking us into a darker part of the house.

Steve stayed silent and I wondered if I'd stepped over a line by asking about his sister. It was common knowledge that she'd been sent to a mental hospital after her friend had committed suicide. I couldn't blame her though – if one of my friends ever left me like that I doubt I'd be completely the same ever again.

"Uh, she's…" He said, voice strained as if he was uncomfortable – maybe even embarrassed – talking about his sister. "…fine, I guess."

"Oh, well I hope she gets better." I said as we stopped. The darkness in this hallway was oppressive and seemed to strangle any natural conversation from us. I watched him place a hand on a door knob and turned it slowly, as if nervous.

"Yeah… me too." He said quietly as his door opened.

We stepped inside. The room was smaller than I thought King Steve's would be. The only light here were the strips of blue which streamed in through his blinds from the pool outside. My eyes found the homework we'd done together yesterday on the desk next to his bowling pin. I never would've begged him as a fan a bowling.

The poster of the supermodel was in the shadows but her white bikini was still visible. I blushed as I thought of my white underwear – I promised myself I had worn them today because they were the only set that was dry (and lacked cartoon bows and hearts) and not because Miss Supermodel had inspired me.

He rifled through his draws and after a few seconds handed me clothes – a long sleeved red sweater with grey sweatpants which I thought would only just fit my thicker than average thighs and behind, making the sweatpants look more like leggings – before he went to change in his bathroom.

Despite the cold, I didn't want to change right away. Whilst I idly stood next to his bed, I recalled memories of yesterday. His lips had been thick and wet against mine. They had massaged my mouth and my tongue with maddening grace I hadn't thought Steve was capable of.

He'd said I wasn't like the other girls. I wasn't going to be just a fuck. Or a quick kiss.

My lips tingled. I rose a hand to touch them. My eyes found the door to his bathroom and I smiled to myself as an idea formed. His mom wasn't here to interrupt us this time.

I began to peel the wet clothes from my aching flesh until I was left in my white panties and bra. I shivered as I climbed onto his cold sheets, the fabric bunched and creased where I crawled, before I lay myself in the middle. I tried to arrange myself on the pillow. Should I push my hair back from my neck so that it lay like a halo around my head? Should I lay my hands over my waist like Snow White on her deathbed? Or should I place them above my head? How should I position my legs? The models I'd seen had their legs together or one on top of the other. Which would Steve like best? What would he find the sexiest?

I decided to keep my hair as it was, hands above my head and draped one freshly shaven leg over the other. I felt a nervous giggle bubble in chest as I finalised the look, but I held it in not wanting Steve to hear.

I wasn't sure how to proceed. Should I call him in or wait for him to find me like this?

I can wait, I thought as I placed a piece of copper hair onto my chest before moving back into position.

I tried to make my eyes appear doe like by widening them before narrowing the inner corners. I pursed my lips in waiting. My chest heaved with nervous energy, but I couldn't help but feel like Marilyn Monroe, a Hollywood starlet capable of making a man like Steve's heart pump and pulse and quicken in his chest.

But then reality sunk in. I wasn't some model nor was I ever going to be as stunning as Monroe. I sat up and put my head on my knees as I thought about quickly putting on the clothes Steve had given me but then the door handle jiggled.

The door opened an inch. Steve poked his head out with a hand covering his eyes.

"You done?" He asked.

I didn't answer. I sat there, heart replaced by the beat of a hummingbird's wings. I hurriedly scrambled to my position.

"You okay, Judy?" He said.

I nodded my head before I realised that with the hand still covering his eyes, he couldn't see.

I took a deep breath and steadied myself.

Earlier, when the boys had been busy trying to squash empty beer cans against their thick skulls, Carol had taken me inside, linking her arm with mine as we went. She had plenty of things that boys liked. And she said the first-time having sex was something you had you get over and done with. I had to go through with it. And then Steve and I would probably start dating. And then maybe someday we'd get married. And we'd have two girls and one boy with brown eyes and copper hair.

"Steve." I said, though my voice sounded like a question.

"Yeah?"

"You can look." I said, voice steady despite the thrum in my chest.

He uncovered his eyes. They found mine before trailing down my body.

I trembled under his eyes. My palms itched. He stepped forward.

We caught eyes and I looked away. I focused my gaze on the ceiling. In my peripheral, I saw him move over to the bed and it shifted as he sat on the edge and turned his upper body to face me.

"Jude." He said.

My eyes met his.

"Yeah?" I said. He leaned closer

"You want to…" He breathed the words and as they hit me, shivers rolled up my spine. I study his face in the darkness. His eyes were black and filled with want.

"Yeah." I whispered.

His right arm reached around my body and settled on the bed next to hip. He adjusted himself on the bed so that his upper body hovered above mine. He licked his lips. He lowered his head. My eyes drifted shut. Our lips met.

Light filled his bedroom through my closed eyelids and my eyes shot open. Our mouths parted with a slick pop. I turned my head and found Tommy knelt in the doorway with Carol leant on his shoulder, both laughing at Steve and I.

Steve I

"Guys!" I shouted. "Come on. Really, what the fuck is wrong with-" Before I could finish, Jude had rushed to doorway, slinking past them. I heard the light patter of her small feet against my stairs. Tommy and Carol carried on laughing.

"You're both fucking morons, you know." I said.

I kicked Tommy and Carol out, telling them to fuck off as I did so. They'd forgive me tomorrow. And Tommy would be extra forgiving once I told him about getting into Judy's pants.

I looked around the house for Judy. She wasn't in any of the bedrooms – although I didn't check my sister's room – nor was she in the kitchen or any of the bathrooms. I walked into the dark living room and through the blinds I could see a black silhouette against the luminous blue pool and the steam which rose from its depths. She sat before the pool, knees drawn to her chest.

I opened the sliding door and stepped out. I cringed when my bare feet hit the cold ground before I walked over to her, stopping once I was directly behind her. I looked at her lightly shaking form and knelt down. She shivered. I placed my hands on her back. She flinched.

"It's alright." I said as I dragged my hands up and down her back, her shoulders and arms, trying to warm her. "Wanna go back inside?"

She shook her head.

"I got rid of Tommy and Carol." I said.

She didn't move nor did she say anything. Her ghost-silence was unnerving.

I leant my head on her shoulder and whispered into her ear, "Come back inside."

"I wanna stay here." She said. "It's pretty."

I looked at the swirls of the steam as it lifted from the surface of the blue pool, the blue tiles from beneath the water resembled the color of her eyes. Behind the pool, the trees rustled as another gust of wind carried over cold air. Hair rose along my bare skin. She shivered. I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her tight against my naked chest.

"It is pretty…" I agreed, "but it's also freezing."

She didn't reply and instead leant her head back against my shoulder, gazing at the stars as she exposed her long pale neck. I licked my lips. I pressed my lips on to her shoulder, then her clavicle. I pressed kisses further up. She turned her head and caught my lips.

Her mouth no longer tasted like mint. She tasted like honey. Rich and thick and golden. The taste of her gathered in my mouth and slid down my throat, warming my oesophagus, my lungs, my heart.

She gave a breathy moans as we parted mouths. I trailed my lips along her neck as she turned her body to face mine. I pushed her so that she lay down. My hips went between her legs. Her panties rubbed against my boxers.

There was one sobering thought. I'd left the condom upstairs; I'd have to remember to pull out.

My hand pushed her panties to the side. I rubbed my hand along her entrance. She was already slick. She gasped. She needed me.

"Stop." She said.

"What?" I said, fingers paused on her wet heat as my mouth parted from her skin.

I leant back on my knees and found her chest heaving, each gasping breath made her breasts rise and fall. Upon further admiring, I found her hand grasped onto the pool ladder as if at any moment the earth's axis would turn in a new direction, leaving us to slide though the air. Her eyes were just as desperate, just as full of fear as the muscles in her thin arm. Did I do that to her? I thought I had been doing the complete opposite, but now from my position above she looked like a frightened lamb about to be eaten by a wolf.

Her breathy moans, her gasps… they all at once seemed like a warning of her discomfort rather than the signs of pleasure I thought they were.

"Are you okay?" I asked as I backed away from her and sat cross legged.

Her legs, which had seemed to part and wrap around my hips so deliciously clamped together before her arms came up to wrap around her knees.

"I thought you… I didn't mean to go too far or anything…" I said all at once overwhelmed with the uncomfortable weight of guilt.

"No, it's fine. I thought I wanted it. I thought I was ready. But…" She shrugged, and her eyes never strayed from the ground.

"It's okay. So, you really are a virgin?" I said, and I immediately cursed at myself. I always spoke without thinking.

"What do you think?" She snarled.

I drew my lip into my mouth and chewed into the squishy flesh.

"Look, I'm uh… sorry." I said as my eyes desperately tried to catch onto hers, but to no avail. The ground was more interesting than me, I guess.

"About what?" She frowned.

"Uh, about pushing you. And for what I said."

"Don't be. You didn't push me into doing anything. I wanted to do it and I made you think that you were going to get another notch on your belt but then I… chickened out." Her head shook.

"It's okay to chicken out. Lots of girls do." I said, aiming at being calming.

She glared up at me. The relief I should've felt as her eyes met mine was dampened because of her anger. I had wanted her eyes, bright and warm, to touch mine but bitterness met me instead.

"You'd know, wouldn't you?" She said, voice sour as her head shook. "It's obvious that you're way more experienced than me and you just see me as some 'virgin', some unexperienced little girl who's not even grown fully into her tits yet."

"What?" I said as frustration brewed in my stomach.

"It's true." She nodded as she stood.

"I don't see you like that. If I did then I wouldn't have invited you here." I said with a creased brow.

"Who else would you have invited then?" She crossed her arms. "Nancy?"

"I don't know. Maybe." I shrugged.

She trod past me and I grabbed onto her wrist as I stood. She wrenched her wrist back as if my touch had been cold as ice. She carried on walking, only feet away from the door.

"I don't see you as some little girl!" I said, shrugging as I called after her. She turned to me and her face, normally as easy to read as a 1st grade text, was unreadable. "And I think your tits are fine."

"'Fine'?" Her eyebrows raised. "They're 'fine', are they?"

"I don't know what you want me to say." I said as both hands raised in question.

The only sound to escape us for a few seconds was our harsh breaths, and I swear I could hear her heart beating – although it was probably mine.

"I think we should just call this a night. I'll leave." She said, raking a hand through her copper locks.

"Don't-" I stared but a glare from her cut me off. "You've got a ride home right?"

She didn't reply.

"At least let me drive you home, okay?" I asked.

"Sure." She shrugged. "I'll go get dressed."

"How'd it go?" Tommy asked the next day as we stood in the showers after gym class. Most of the guys were changing into their clothes already, which left me and Tommy alone under the spray.

"How'd what go?" I asked as I smoothed shampoo into my scalp.

"Don't play dumb." He said, voice scratchy. "You fucked her, and now I wanna know how it was."

I didn't answer, and instead carried on lathering.

"C'mon, Steve." He laughed. He always sounded like a hyena when he did that. "What was she like?"

"Uh, she was…" I began before I had formed an answer.

"Was what, huh?" He teased. "Cat got your tongue? No, wait, pussy got your tongue?" He chuckled at his own joke. "Wait, you didn't go down on her, did you?" He scowled though there was lust with just a hint of curiosity in his eyes.

"I didn't." I said, thinking of my promise to Jude the other day. I wanted to know what she looked like down there; whether she was bare or had short curls matching her copper locks. I also wondered if her wet heat would taste as sweet as her mouth did.

"That's not a bad thing though, right?" I asked. "Going down on someone?"

"Uh… no. I mean, depends on what the chick looks like. Or tastes like." Tommy said, oblivious to my musings on the taste of Jude – or perhaps he was thinking about the very same thing. My chest constricted as green jealousy found its way into my bloodstream. Jude would never get with Tommy. I tried to ignore the fact that she'd probably never get with me either, not after our fight last night.

"Sure, Tommy." I said as I rinsed my hair.

"You didn't answer." He pressured me. "What was she like?"

I stared at the orange tile and tried to think of what to say.

When he'd asked me about Lori, I said she was great and knew how to move her hips. With Amy, I said she was amazing at head but not so much at anything else. And Becky was pretty much forgettable apart from her porn star tits.

None of them had ever told me to stop. None of them had ever argued with me. None of them had been virgins either, maybe that was why Jude had been different. Was this how Lori had felt about me? She had, after all, been the one to take my virginity.

"You okay, man?" He asked. "She rattled you, huh?" A teasing smirk spread across his stupid face.

"Look, it was nothing." I said. "She's no one special. Just a fuck."

"Sure, man." He said as he raised a defensive hand. "But what was she like?"

God, he was like a dog with a juicy fucking bone.

I decided to answer Tommy, if only to get him to shut up.

But how would I answer him? Every time Jude's mouth had met mine was… there was just something I couldn't place. She was ethereal. Trying to explain it was like trying to catch a ghost between your fingers. It would just slip away, leaving your palms empty and cold. I couldn't describe how her skin against mine had made my insides melt. I couldn't describe the way her eyes made my chest turn to honey.

I couldn't explain the dead weight which had settled in my chest as we fought. I couldn't decipher what she had wanted me to say or do or why she told me to stop. I couldn't explain why this was such a big deal to me.

And if I couldn't explain it to myself – and I wasn't sure if I even wanted to – how would I even begin to explain it to Braindead Tommy?

But should I tell him the truth about the rejection? No. I didn't want to deal with his hyena's laugh right now, which was sure to come if I told him Jude hadn't wanted me in the end.

"She was great. Really tight." I said, succeeding in sounding bored.

Tommy slapped me on the shoulder and sent drops of water flying from my skin before he said something lewd. I ignored him and focused instead on trying not to think about Jude anymore, but it was already too late, the fever was spreading. She had infected me.

I walked into English late. I smoothly apologised to Mr Buell before I took my seat behind Nancy Wheeler. Before I sat, I smiled at Nancy, who returned it with pink lips. Nancy's lips were soft like Jude's.

I had kissed Nancy in my car last week and hadn't realised that what I felt with Jude was missing. Now I feared that every kiss after Jude wouldn't be the same again – I'd be stuck in a constant circle of making out with people and not feeling what I felt with Jude… but was that such a bad thing? The feeling was scary. I could already feel the urge for it but I didn't want to feel like that; like I was dependant on someone to feel good. I had depended on my family once, but they always seemed to leave. I can only depend on myself.

I supposed that kissing Nancy was different; like a catching butterflies and setting them free. I didn't need to depend on it. It was sweet, she was sweet. Someone I could mess around with. And like Jude, she wasn't a slut. Nancy probably wanted a relationship. And being with Nancy wasn't scary like it was with Jude. I could see myself as Nancy's boyfriend. With Jude, there was only lust. I couldn't see a future between us – the skies in that universe were way too foggy to glean anything; whether there was a storm heading in or whether the sun would peak through the clouds and give life to soft flowers and winding trees, I couldn't tell.

But Nancy was normal, a relationship with her would be as firm as the concrete beneath us.

I wrote a message on a loose piece of paper and folded it to the size of my palm.

"Hey, Nance." I whispered.

She turned in her seat, a cute smile on her lips.

"What?" She whispered.

"Can I borrow a pencil?" I asked.

She shook her head and turned to her desk, but I could hear her going through her pencil case. A few seconds later she turned to me with a yellow pencil in her hand, her arm stretched toward me. As I took the pencil from her, I pressed the note into her hand. Her eyes widened and then she composed herself and turned back to face Mr Buell who was sternly looking over at us.

The message read: Meet me in the bathroom. I knew she would.

I considered Nancy's thin thighs wrapped around my hips but then the feel of Jude's thicker thighs halted any thoughts of Nancy. Before I went all the way with Nancy, I decided that I had to try at least once more time with Jude.

Nancy and I met up in the bathroom – a place which was to me completely foreign until Amy had brought me into one of the stalls so that she could give me my birthday present (which was not as innocent as it sounded). The room at present smelled lightly of cheap perfume – nothing my mom would ever consider wearing in her lifetime. And it was empty. The perfect place to make my move.

I leant into her space but was stopped by her thin hand, so much thinner than mine and soft too, as soft as fur. Despite the way she had smiled as I led her here, her voice was worried.

"I've uh, heard some things." She said as she leant back on the sink with arms crossed.

"What things?" I asked before I bit my lip.

Her eyes darted down to my mouth and resisted the smirk which was so desperate to spread over my lips.

"About you and Judy Holland. She's my best friend's sister, you know." Nancy said as she dragged her eyes back up to mine.

"Oh, her? What've you heard?" I said, acting nonchalant when really I could hear my heartbeat pounding in my ears.

"That there's something going on." Nancy's lips settled into a straight line as her head tilted.

"Yeah?" I asked.

"Yeah. Which would give me plenty of reason to stop what we… whatever we're doing." Nancy shrugged.

"Look, I've just been helping her study." I said as I came to stand in front of her.

"Study? You've been helping her… study?" She said as her head tilted away from me.

"Why do you say it like that?" I asked.

Because you're dumb was written in Nancy's raised brow.

"Nance, she said she needed help. And I'm a nice guy. Couldn't say no." I said as I placed my hands either side of her hips on the sink.

"You're anything but nice, Steve Harrington." She smiled before her features quickly dampened again. "I heard you made out with her at Tina's party."

"Yeah. We did." I nodded, knowing this was something I couldn't lie about – there were too many people at that party who knew the truth. Granted, there were no witnesses of our kiss, but almost everyone there had seen us enter the bathroom together.

"So why help her study? Wouldn't that be weird?" She asked.

"I already told you: I'm a nice guy." I smiled. "Why shouldn't I help some girl who has a crush on me?"

"Steve!" Nancy said, scandalised.

"That's probably what's going on here though right?" I nodded, thinking back to mine and Jude's fight. "She's just some little girl with a crush."

'I don't see you as some little girl!'

"You don't think she's been lying to Barb then, right? Because Barb told me somethings about last night?"

"Who's Barb?"

"Barb? Barbara Holland? My best friend, Jude's sister?" Nancy said, exasperated.

"Oh, yeah. Right, right." I nodded, not really being able to put a name to a face. I wondered if Barb was as pretty as her sister and if they had more sisters and if the whole family were nymphs just waiting to ensnare young boys and cast them aside when they decided they weren't good enough to sleep with.

My jaw gritted as I reminded myself that the reason Jude had told me to stop was probably more to do with her own insecurities rather than anything to do with me.

"Maybe," Nancy said, "Judy must be telling Barb lies about you. She did it before."

"Huh?" I titled my head.

"Years ago, when I slept over theirs, I wore one of Judy's dresses." Nancy said, eyes widening with renewed annoyance. "And Judy freaked. She said I stained the dress – which I didn't. She was lying."

"She lied about… a dress?" I said, not really understanding nor caring.

"Yeah!" Nancy nodded. "So it makes sense that she'd lie and tell Barb about going to a party at yours."

I wondered then how much Jude had been telling her sister and if those stories had been embellished at all. Though I couldn't exactly judge – I had lied to Nancy and Tommy and Jude, and I had only felt a pittance of guilt when doing so.

"Oh, Steve." Nancy said as she wrapped her arms around my waist and hugged into me as she apologised.

My head settled into her shoulder and my eyes met my reflection. I didn't recognise who I was; this stranger's eyes were too harsh, his jaw too firmly set. But it was me – I wasn't a stranger.

After our last period, Tommy and I exited the school building and began the walk to my car. Jude and Carol were walking through the school parking lot not far ahead, chatting and unaware of Tommy and I.

My heart stopped. Was she telling Carol what happened last night? What if she told the truth and then Carol told Tommy and he called me out on my lie from earlier? My mind settled on playing it cool, but my feet had other plans. I doubled my pace, aiming to catch up with the girls before anything more could be said.

"Why are you walking so fast?" Tommy grabbed onto my jacket arm and used me like a snow dog. "Oh! You wanna catch up to your new slut, do ya?" Tommy said as he eyed Jude.

"Shut it." I said as I shrugged off his arm.

"Aww, what's the matter, pal?" He asked, mocking.

I ignored him the rest of the way over and appreciated him finally closing his goddamn trap once we closed in on the girls.

Tommy wrapped an arm around Carol's shoulders, lightly shocking her before he pressed his lips to hers roughly. I watched as Jude eyed them before she looked at me with a hopeful gleam in her eyes.

I did a double take. A hopeful look in her eyes? My eyes latched onto hers and, yes. Hopeful. But why?

"Hey, Jude." I put my hands in my pockets.

"Hi." She said. "I didn't thank you for driving me home last night, so uh, thank-"

"Have you cooled down now?" I interrupted, aware of our limited time to chat whilst Tommy and Carol were sucking face.

Her mouth was still open as if I'd pressed pause on what she was saying. She composed herself and tucked a strand of copper behind her ear.

"I'm sorry?" She asked, voice small, aware of Tommy and Carol who had stopped making out and now chatted in the background.

"We're fine now? Right?" I asked.

"I think." She muttered.

"Good." I nodded as my arms crossed. "Come over mine tonight."

"I have to study." She said, voice regretful.

"She has to study!" Tommy laughed. Carol wacked his shoulder but still smirked at his words.

"Come on." I said. "Come over mine. We'll have fun."

Her eyes stopped on Tommy for a second, then on Carol who nodded at her, then her eyes found mine and the passion in them made my breath catch in my throat as if a bee had crawled into my oesophagus.

Originally this was supposed to be two chapters (Jude II and then Steve I) but I haven't updated in so long, I thought I'd treat ya by putting them together.

It may seem like I copied the pool/wet clothes plot device which brought Steve and Nancy to do it in Season 1 but there's a reason for it. You'll see in a later chapie. Maybe you could even hazard a guess as to why?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!

Any questions or constructive crit. you can PM me or ask in a review :)

Also, any Crimson Wings readers: I apologise for the long waits between chapters – uni sucks. Every time I think I have free time, I'm wrong – there's always work to do which can be really fun sometimes but it's also really draining.

Also, do you prefer 2000-3000-word long chapters or 5000-6000? This one was around 7000.

Until next time!