A/N: This came together faster than I anticipated. Hope you like it. The next chapter will be interesting. I won't give anything away, but by the time you're done with this one, you should know what's coming next. ;]

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Teach Me

Chapter Eighteen

"The Motherload"

~J~ - End of March 2010

For some reason I couldn't meet Tommy at his locker. Instead I waited with Lola. My mind's all messed up. I could barely think about anything but Tommy after lunch. So now we're riding in the car and it's silent. Things are obviously a bit strained. Maybe I shouldn't have kissed him. Well, actually I know I shouldn't have kissed him. But I did. Fuck.

I look up from my oh-so-interesting nail beds to see that we're passing our normal Starbucks. Um. What the –

"Where are we going?" I ask.

He doesn't answer me and turns left, down a street I don't recognize.

"Tommy."

Nothing. I'm going to punch him.

"Tommy!"

He turns. A smile is on his face. Shit.

We turn abruptly into a driveway and my heart stops. This is his house. Don't ask me how I know. I just do. He gets out of the Viper and walks around to open my door. I jump out and my fist hits his arms. His hand wraps around my wrist and glares before I pull it back. His thumb flits over the pulse point in my wrist and a shiver runs down my spine. "Fucker."

-M-

We walk into the kitchen only to hear rustling near the back door. Tommy stops abruptly and I run straight into him. "Ass," I mutter, smacking him on the arm before moving around him.

A woman stands near their dining room table, her hands in midair holding some mail. Her face has shock written all over it. I glance at Tommy from the corner of my eyes and his jaw is clenched so tight I think it'll break if he keeps it up. His eyes dart towards my face and then quickly look back at the woman. Then I can feel it. That underlying tension. The moment we walked into his house I could feel it, it itched my skin, but now I have a name for it.

"Mom," Tommy says flatly, breaking the silent bubble in the kitchen. I glance back at the woman he's talking to and a smile has replaced the look of shock on her face.

I clear my throat out of habit, realizing no one is going to say anything else. I extend my hand and walk toward Tommy's mom. "Jude Harrison," I say, smiling.

Her eyes flicker from Tommy to me for a second and then back towards him. Her smile shrinks slightly and then it's as if my movements have registered. Her smile widens again, almost reaching her eyes. She shakes my hand. Her skin is ice cold, but I don't say anything. "Nice to meet you, Jude. I'm Jackie."

Her voice breaks at my name and I chock it up to the tension that is slowly eating us all whole.

A rough hand wraps around my upper arm and Tommy's pulling me away from his mom. "We can study in my room," he says lowly, tugging at me roughly. I elbow him, the pain his fingers are creating being my driving force. I swear – if he leaves bruises, I'm going to kick his –

"Dinner is at six, Tommy."

Quincy stops abruptly and then looks over his shoulder. I don't follow suit. This whole mother-son dynamic is kind of freaking me out. "We're – "

"Jude, you're more than welcome to stay."

My eyes widen. I don't know if that's such a good idea. "I..." Looking over my shoulder at the entry way to the kitchen, I see no one. "…would love to," I say, the words dying as they leave my lips.

I feel Tommy's eyes burning a hole in my skull. I want to roll my eyes, but I refrain from the action. "Stop fucking touching me," I say, pulling my arm out of his grasp.

He follows right behind me. "You know you love it," he says as we reach the stairs.

I flip him the bird and I hear his laughter as we make our ascent. Then I let myself roll my eyes.

-M-

I stretch my arms over my head and close my eyes tight, pulling at all the muscles in my back. I've been sitting in Tommy's uncomfortable desk chair for the last two hours and everything hurts. My ass is numb and my fingers feel like they're going to fall off. Quincy is such a slave driver. "Quit staring," I say.

Tommy doesn't respond. I open my eyes and he doesn't even bother looking at me in the eyes. Perv. When he notices I'm staring back at him, he licks his bottom lip slowly. Immediately, I throw my pencil at his head and it barely grazes his right ear.

"What is it with you throwing things at my head?" he says, his eyes wide.

I shrug. "I'm hoping one day it'll shake some sense into your brain and you can stop doing stupid things."

A strained laugh exits his lips and I stare at him.

"So, your mom…" I start.

His fingers pull at his bed sheets. "I don't want to talk about it."

"But I thought we were friends," I say mockingly.

His face is emotionless, but the bed sheets are another story. They have done nothing to Tommy, but his grip on them is so tight you'd think they were having this conversation with him and not me. "If you were my friend, you'd back off when I tell you to."

I clench my jaw. As if his words weren't enough, his tone is what sets me off. "It's a good thing we're not friends then, isn't it?"

He rolls his eyes. "Jude – "

I look away, my eyes glancing over my cell phone. "Oh look, it's time for me to go."

He's off his bed before I close my notebook.

"You know I didn't mean it like that."

I nod silently, but I'm still not looking at him. His fingers land under my chin and he pulls my face up to look at him. "Do you want to be my friend?"

I have to fight the smile that is threatening to paint my face. I open my mouth to say something, what I don't know, but he cuts me off, smiling. "I want to be your friend." His fingers find the loops of my jeans and he pulls me into his chest. My breath is caught in my throat. "I really want to be your friend."

My hands cover his fingers and pull them out of the loops. "Okay, we're friends." His hands tighten around mine and my heart flutters. This is not good. Walk away, Jude. Walk. Away. Everything I'm thinking must be written on my face because Tommy sighs.

"Don't Jude."

So I don't.

His face closes in. My breath hitches. His lips are above my lips and a knock sounds on his bedroom door.

I jump back so fast that I knock over his desk chair. Holy shit. We're frozen, staring at the door, waiting for something to happen. My breath is coming fast and strong. I think my heart might jump out of my body. From the almost kiss or the sudden knock, I'm not sure. At any other moment, I'd laugh at the fact that we're standing here like two scared teenagers, but this isn't funny. At all.

"Dinner's ready."

I close my eyes and a sense of relief passes through my body as I can hear Tommy's mom's footsteps as she walks away. My hand rests over my chest and I can feel my heart pounding fast. I sigh.

Then I can smell him. My eyes open and they lock with his. He's right in front of me…again. As if his mom didn't just interrupt us. I want to tell him we have to stop – that we almost got caught, but I can't. He's got a hand in my hair and one on my hip before I can do or say anything and his grip on my hip tightens to the point it's almost painful, but I can't do anything. Other than kiss him. Which we do.

I lose all sense of time. I'm not thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn't be here, in Tommy's room, kissing him. I'm not thinking that his mom is waiting for us. I'm not thinking that Sadie is going to yell at me later when I tell her I came here. I'm not – his fingers trace over my spine and I shudder. It's then that my brain wakes up and starts thinking instead of just feeling how great of a kisser Tommy is. I pull away. There's a sudden disappoint that fills my veins, but I chock it up to not kissing anyone in a while. My brain buys it.

Tommy doesn't. He closes his eyes and sighs. His hands are still on me and I don't have the heart to tell him to move them.

Shit. I'm getting soft.

He bows his head and mutters something softly that I barely pick up. "I won't let them ruin this."

I'm confused. Who is they and what is this?

He doesn't register my confusion. He opens his eyes and grabs my hand. Our fingers intertwine. My heart stops. He opens his bedroom door and I brush away my confusion as we make our descent to what I'm sure will be a very lovely dinner with Tommy's mom.