"Please?" Bradin said, teasing pout on his face.
Jessica shut her locker and started down the hallway with her books in hand. "This is so weird!"
"No it isn't," Bradin shook his head, walking in step with her.
"Bradin, we've been hanging out with each other for, what, eight months? We already see movies together, have dinner together, do that crap." Jessica pointed out.
"Yeah, but everything's different now," Bradin explained. "You can't count all that stuff in the past… All that was done when we were friends. We actually haven't gone out together in anything as more than friends. We've hung out for eight months but we've never had one single date."
"You've got a thing with labels, don't you? Just yesterday we went to the theatre together." She answered with a laugh. "And what do you mean, everything's different now? The whole point is I don't want things to change…"
Bradin smirked as he stood in the doorway of the lunchroom. Jessica was sitting by herself, absorbed in a novel.
Bradin slipped an arm around Jessica's shoulders and ran his fingers down the small of her back. She jumped nearly a foot in the air and socked him in the side.
"You scared the living crap out of me!" She chided, though a wide grin was spread across her face. Bradin grinned and kissed her softly on her cheek.
"Sorry," he said.
"I'm sure you are," she laughed, turning back to her book.
"Aw, you're seriously choosing a novel over me?" Bradin chuckled. He moved closer to her and stuck his face in front of her face. She wrinkled her nose and lightly pushed his face back.
"This is your own doing," Jessica told him. "You were the one who got me hooked on this series."
"A book over your- me?" Bradin pouted.
"Just hold on, I'm nearly done-," She said absently. Bradin interrupted her with a swift kiss on the lips. Naturally, the book was momentarily forgotten.
Jessica grinned through the kiss and laughed, "All right, you have my full attention now."
"Good." He smiled. "So, where do you want to go tonight? Dinner and a movie?"
"Could we get anymore clichéd?" Jessica rolled her eyes.
"There's a reason people continue to use the formula. It's tried and true." He defended.
"What movie did you have in mind?" she questioned.
"Whatever you want." Bradin grinned.
"You don't actually care do you? If you're planning on choosing any movie just so we can sit in the back and make out, you're going to be disappointed." Laughed Jessica.
"Awww. What's wrong that idea?" Bradin smiled, playfully giving her another kiss on the lips.
"Excessive PDA bugs me." Jessica shrugged. "It's so disgusting when you're seeing a movie only to hear the snog noises from the couple behind you. I'm not going to be one of those people."
"All right, all right." Bradin sighed. "You don't mind when I kiss you at school, do you?"
"I said excessive." She grinned. "And I'd hardly call a few quick kisses excessive."
"Great because I'm not going to give them up." He smirked, putting an arm around her. "Come on, what do you want to do tonight? How about we just go to dinner and then we can decide later?"
"Okay." Jess shrugged again, picking a bit at her food.
"I can just pick you up at…" he said.
"We can just meet there-" she suggested.
"This is our first real date. I'm going to make it special for us." Bradin shook his head. "Come on."
"You really don't have to," protested Jessica.
"Please. Let me do this." He kissed her hand.
"6:30." She said, relenting at last.
The bell trilled loudly, signalling the end of lunch. The two stood up and began to throw out their trash. Bradin walked Jessica to her locker and half-hugged her.
"I'll see you at 6:30, then." He muttered.
"Bye." She smiled.
As Jessica shuffled her books around and took out the items she would use that afternoon, she couldn't help but grin. This whole dating thing with Bradin was turning out better than she could have imagined. He was so unbelievably sweet. He had found a perfect balance. Bradin was caring and attentive without being smothering or clingy. He made her feel so special. Yeah, she knew it was cliché and all that, but things were really running so smoothly. Granted, it was only one week since he had held her on the beach and told her how much he wanted to be with her but it felt so right. A small voice in Jessica's mind whispered doubts in her heart but the voice was faint. She would have to learn to trust someone eventually. Why couldn't it be Bradin Westerly, her childhood crush?
Her green locker shut, Jessica turned around and began walking through the cheerily waxed floors of the hallway. After homeroom, she had art with her close friend Will Burke. He was one of the people that helped Jessica and Bradin's relationship along. The two had dated briefly but had ultimately decided that they were just friend material.
Smiling at the curly haired brunette, Jessica strolled into the rather spacious art room.
"Tell me we're not doing anything related to painting." She said in way of greeting.
"Most people love to paint, you realize." Will rolled his eyes. "And our class will be pissed once they realize it's thanks to you that we've been doing sketching for the past three months when we were scheduled to start paint two weeks ago."
"You know you lurve me." Jess stuck her tongue out and happily pulled out her sketchbook. "Can we just draw, or do we have a specific subject?"
"Ressill doesn't seem to care much." He shrugged, beginning to focus back on his own drawing. "Any ways, I heard that you and Bradin are having a first date tonight?"
"How the hell did you find out about that so quickly? We just talked about that fifteen minutes ago." She exclaimed in surprise.
"He's one of the most popular guys in this school. There are more than a few stalker-y fan girls that linger around him constantly. I'm not surprised they heard it." Will said thoughtfully.
"But how did it get to you so quickly?" frowned Jessica. "I mean, your TA's halfway across the school."
"Valerie Hart, who's in my TAG, jealously asked me about it, she said she heard about it from Ariel Lynn, and she apparently heard it from Rachel Bitonuller, who heard you two talking at lunch." Will listed, rolling his eyes. "She was steamed. She was trying to glean info from me."
"God, his fan team is really efficient," answered Jessica in surprise.
She remembered Valerie… she was the first girl who noticed Bradin at Playa Linda High. The moment Bradin walked on school grounds on the first day of school, Valerie had bounced up and introduced herself. This succeeded in reminding Jessica of how any girl would be absolutely jumping to snatch up Bradin if the two ever broke up. One stupid fight, one wrong move, one day of Bradin getting bored, fed up, whatever and a hundred girls would beam at him, shaking their tits, and removing all interest he had in her. It was a very large pool to choose from and she was just one person… How comforting to think about.
A crease in Jessica's forehead furrowed as she manically drew on the paper in front of her. She didn't even notice she had begun to draw… her hand had once again taken a life of it's own. Blinking in surprise, Jessica realized she had drawn an outstretched hand. Sighing, she continued the hand to a body and drew a figure that loosely resembled herself.
"That's really good." Will said softly, blocking away her thoughts for a moment.
"Thanks." She muttered, finally looking at him again. Jessica grinned when she saw what he had drawn- the calculator laying in front of him. "How original."
"What can I say, I didn't feel like being creative." Will chuckled. The drawing was nonetheless extremely well done- it was nicely detailed and proportionate. Will always did have a gift for artistry. He was amazing at sketching. "Ah. Class is nearly over. I guess I'll see you tomorrow. Have fun tonight with Bradin."
"Thanks. See you." She replied, beginning to gather up her books as well.
"And listen, don't worry about Val and all those other people. You're the one he fought to be with, and you're the one he cares about. Just have a good time tonight and for once, let him be as over-the-top gentlemanly as he wants. Let him pamper you."
"Don't say pamper." Jessica laughed.
"Seriously, I know you. And I know you don't like being given the special treatment on dates. I've been there, remember? You wouldn't even let me let you pick the restaurant." Will smiled.
"I just don't think it's fair that the girl gets all that consideration while the guy has to pay for everything, it's so sexist and traditional." She protested.
"Annnd there's your feminist side rearing its very loud head." Teased Will. "Let yourself have fun tonight, you punish yourself sometimes."
"I do not-" she said defensively.
"Bye now," Will laughed as the bell rang.