Authors: Julius St. Clair
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Fantasy, #Teen & Young Adult, #Love & Romance, #Paranormal & Fantasy
Modern Day Fairytale)
Julius St. Clair
Copyright © 2013 by Julius St. Clair
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is it.
This is when he finally does it.
But he wasn’t
doing it. He was just leaning in for the popcorn sitting on her thigh, and after they had been talking so much about what a great time they were having. So what was the hold up? They were in the dark, alone, on the couch in her parent’s basement, after he had met her mom and dad and they gave the okay.
The movie was romantic and s
he was leaning back onto his chest under a warm comforter as the snow fell gently from the night sky. The roads were silent, and their hearts were beating fast. She knew he wanted to kiss her. It was all over his lips and the words he said. The way he kept looking at her mouth and not her eyes. He had been thinking about it for hours. So why didn’t he just do it?
He was shy sometimes at school but never around her. He was confident. Except for
when it pertained to this one thing.
“Where’s the remote?” she asked him, still leaning against him. “I want to pause the movie.”
“Behind me on the nightstand. I got it.”
“No, let me,” she said mischievously. She turned around and faced him, their lips were so close that all he had to do was lean in a couple inches. She paused for a second, giving him time to think, and then she reached forward, pressing up against his body and grabbing the remote behind him. On her way back she slowed her descent, ensuring he took in every whiff of her perfume, every touch of her skin.
But he just wouldn’t move. Yes, he watched. But he didn’t budge, staying quite frozen despite her not so subtle advances. Frustrated and with a heavy sigh, she sat up on the couch and shifted over to the far end.
We’ll see how he likes this.
I’m sure he’s all hot and bothered by now.
But he stayed where he was, and to her dismay, started watching the movie again as if her distance was meaningless. All that mattered was the stupid film. And it wasn’t that romantic anyways…
“Whatever,” she huffed under her breath, pressing the power button on the remote, shutting down the television, blu-ray player and sound system in one fell stroke. Without the glow of the television lighting the room, they were stuck in relative darkness, the light hum of the moon and the off-orange illumination outside providing their light. Neither of them moved for a few minutes until finally, he dimmed the light on the nightstand. Erin was furious.
“Do you care
at all what we do next?” she asked, slightly snapping at him.
“Of course I do,”
he replied, a little too meek for her taste.
“Do you want to go home?”
“Then what’s wrong with you?”
She could see him sigh from where she sat, even without the light brightening his face. Was it her? Was it something she said?
“I want to kiss you, Erin. More than anything in the world.”
“Then why don’t you,” she said quickly, then changed her tune. “I mean, you don’t have to know…I was just thinking that…I really wanted to kiss you too.”
Is it okay if we wait a little longer?”
“Um, sure. That’s fine with me,” Erin said, trying to swallow her disappointment. “I’m sorry I tried to seduce you earlier. Usually the guy’s the one who wants to get the relationship moving.”
“I wouldn’t say increasing our physical activity takes our relationship to another level. I think it’s how we feel about each other that matters the most.”
“And…if you don’t mind me asking…how do you feel about me?”
“That’s hard to say,” he said as she shifted her eyes to the floor. “No, I didn’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just that I don’t know how to act around you. To be honest, you kind of make me nervous. I get butterflies just talking to you.”
“Me?” she said in disbelief. Before he could continue speaking, she found herself nudging closer to him. “But you’re the big football star. Quarterback of varsity. How could you be nervous around me? I’m so small.”
“Your stature is small, but your heart is out of this world in size.”
It was the first compliment he had given her since they had started going out a couple weeks ago. She was going to accept this rare gem with
don’t understand though.”
“Playing football…that’s just a front. I only play it so I don’t have to be with so many girls.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense,” she said, leaning back on his shoulder. “Football players get more girls than anyone, don’t they?”
“It’s true, but usually those types of girls expect one thing. So do the football players. There is a mutual understanding on some level that their relationships will rarely go beyond a physical connection. So once I let a girl know I have no interest in having sex, she usually drops me.”
“You mean all those girls…they all dumped you?”
“Yep,” he laughed. “Of course, the rumor mill doesn’t churn it out that way. But it’s true. So by being a football star, I’ve actually had to deal less with the physical side of romance.”
“But…it still doesn’t make sense. Why go through all this trouble? Couldn’t you just not play football and be on the sidelines, hidden in the background?”
“Not really my style,” he said, melting her with his mesmerizing hazel eyes. “How am I supposed to meet the girl of my dreams by hiding?”
“I still want an explanation for why you do it,” she said, fighting his gaze. “What’s so wrong about the physical aspect? Are you afraid of going too far? Because I won’t allow it. I don’t want to ruin this.”
She leaned against his chest and caressed his neck with her right hand, feeling his muscles tense at her touch.
“We haven’t been together long,” she said. “But I can already tell. This is something I don’t want to end. It’s just…I’m so attracted to you. Is it wrong for me to want to kiss you?”
“Of course not,” he said, leaning down and kissing her on the forehead. She felt a tingling sensation ripple
all the way down to her toes.
“Then what is it?”
He hesitated to speak and this was alarming enough. Erin sat up and stared at him. There was something he was hiding.
“If I tell you, can you promise to not speak a word of this to anyone?”
“I can’t stress this enough, Erin. Can you promise?”
“Yes. I can keep a secret.”
“Okay,” he sighed, taking her by the arms and escorting her back to
a sitting up position.
Whatever this is.
She thought to herself.
This must be serious.
“Do you know anything about my family?”
“Not really,” she said, searching his eyes. “You’re adopted, right?”
“Yes. My parents died when I was young, and I was adopted by my grandfather until he got sick. Seeing he was about to pass, he gave me emancipation at sixteen, allowing me to live on my own. S
ince then I’ve been living with a roommate who’s older than me. Following?”
“Yes,” she said, unsure of where he was going with his story.
“What most of the world doesn’t know is that my family has a particular…um…problem.”
“I don’t know what causes it – whether it’s a genetic thing or we’re just aliens or something…but…”
Erin winced at the word “alien,” but she let him continue.
“…I do know that we carry a trait that is passed down to our children and our children’s children and so on. And what it does is binds us to whomever we kiss.”
that if I kiss you…what happens? You become enslaved to me?”
“Sort of,” he said nervously. “I s
till have free will but from what I hear, when it comes to matters of the heart, all you can see is them. All you can think about is them. You fall in love against your will and eventually you have no choice but to go wherever they go, because otherwise, you would live a lonely existence with scenarios running through your head and pictures of them haunting your dreams. You can lose your mind fighting your heart.”
“And all of this happens with a kiss?”
“And it doesn’t matter who it is? If you are kissed by them, you are theirs?”
“Yes. I haven’t heard of anyone breaking this curse.”
“So what happened with your family? They fell for the wrong person?”
“Most did, having their first kiss when they were young. I’ve known relatives that killed themselves because they couldn’t get the person out of their head. Others gave in and stalked the person until they were hit with a restraining order. They would break it, of course, and end up in jail…but even I don’t understand just how powerful this is.”
“So did you ever find your family? Other relatives?”
“I’m the last,” Nick declared. “There’s no one left with this curse but me. Whomever I end up with determines my future and generations to come. So…you can understand why I’m so apprehensive.”
“You think that I would abuse you?” Erin said suddenly. Nick cleared his throat.
“No. I’m just being careful. You’re an awesome girl and I can’t see myself with anyone else. I just want to make sure, that’s all.”
Erin felt uncomfortable with this confession and she knew that she was bein
g unfair with her emotions, but she couldn’t help it. She had to push.
“But why aren’t you sure?” she asked, hoping to hear why he wasn’t absolutely certain they were meant to be together. She had to admit to herself that she was prone to romantic comedies more than the average girl, and as a result, she had taken a liking to concepts such as fate and destiny, soul mates and star-crossed lovers. Sure, it may have been an unrealistic outlook on life…but then again, how often did you meet a boy with a curse that activated when he was k
issed? It sounded like a strange fairytale.
“Are you sure?” he asked, throwing the question back at her. She pursed her lips together.
“I asked you first.”
“And you want the truth?”
“Of course,” she said. “What’s a relationship without trust?”
“Then…” he began, contemplating his words. “If I must b
e completely honest…I’m not ready for a commitment yet. Not that I can’t see myself being with you for the rest of my life, but, we haven’t been going out long. I need to make sure.”
“I see,” she said, disappointed. Hardly the words her prince would say. He lifted her chin to his face and
rubbed his nose against hers.
“Don’t worry, my love,” he said assuredly. “I’m sure it will be soon.”
She pressed her cheek against his and closed her eyes.
“I believe you,” she said. “I’ll wait.”
“So in other words, he thinks you’re ugly.”
“What?” Erin said, coming out of her thoughts. “No! That’s not it at all.”
“Well, that story has to be a lie. This isn’t a world of magic. There aren’t curses and spells.”
“He was pretty serious when he said it.”
“Then why are you telling me?” her friend asked, tilting her head to the side and glaring at Erin. Though the conversation wasn’t the most pleasant, Erin knew to come to Jo with her troubles whenever she thought she was being too airy and up in the clouds. Jo was a realist, while she, by far, was a dreamer.
“He did say he wanted it a secret,” Jo said,
applying a liberal amount of gloss to her full lips. They glittered and shined, accenting the bright green and yellow colors of her blouse, mini-skirt and the scarf keeping her hair kept up.
“But I tell you everything.”
“Maybe you should have disclosed that info ahead of time. Don’t you think lover-boy won’t be a little mad you told me?”
“Well, he won’t find out.”
“And that is why he should be worried about you, Erin. If you’re not trustworthy, why should he bother?”
“That’s a harsh thing to say. Can’t you give some advice? I didn’t tell you so you can make cracks on my character.”
“Well,” Jo said, brushing a bang while she looked herself over in a compact mirror. “I would kiss him.”
“What do you mean? He didn’t want that.”
“Can you not be so dense? I’m saying that you should come out of the blue and just kiss him, without his permission.”
“Oh, that’s going to make things better.”
“It’s the only way you’ll know for sure if the curse is real. It’s probably not, but there’s no harm in finding out. You’ll have plenty of time afterwards to mend his disappointments. He’ll get over it. It’s just a kiss.”
“And if it is real?”
“Then you just got one of the sexiest, sweetest, most popular men in this town at your beck and call. What’s the negative?”
“I don’t want a pet. I want a boyfriend and eventually a husband.”
“Wow. You’re really looking to settle down. Why don’t you give your youth some time before you throw it all away?”
“Because I think he’s the one, Jo.”
“Seriously?” Jo said, putting her purse by her side and giving Erin her full attention.
“I mean it,” Erin said shyly. “Don’t ask me how I know. It’s just…you don’t find men like that
these days. I feel like if this doesn’t work, then I’ll just be settling for less from here on out.”
“Wow,” Jo said, sounding a bit nasally. “Are you sure you want to spend the rest of your life with a meathead?”
“He’s not a meathead…the only reason he joined football was to…look, it’s complicated. All you need to know is that it doesn’t get much better than him. He’s the complete package.”
then I’m hoping this works out for you. Sounds like you’ve found a rare man.”
“I think I have.”
“Ladies and gentlemen!” a voice rang throughout the cafeteria. “I think it’s time we go high school musical style and perform a number for a very special girl.”
Jo and Erin looked up with the rest of the student body to see Nick standing on one of the cafeteria tables with a microphone in his hand. Behind him was part of the school band, equipped with speakers, guitars, drums and a keyboard.
“This goes out to Erin,” he said into the microphone low. “A girl that’s been wondering if she made the right decision by going out with a jock like me. Well, girl, I can’t imagine you being out of my life, and I just want to sing you a little song that will tell you just how I feel. Now I’m not one to put my heart on my sleeve and I’ll probably be ridiculed by my team for the rest of the season –“
“-the school year!” the linebacker yelled from a corner. The crowd laughed.
“Okay,” Nick said nervously. “The school year, but it’s all worth it. Because I have the greatest girlfriend in the world. So, Erin, this is for you.”
Erin sat there in disbelief and shock as he began singing a cover to the
Here without you
, by 3 Doors Down. His voice was absolutely terrible and it cracked at the best parts, as if he was still working through puberty. But the band behind him kept the tempo going and rocked it. Even with Nick’s horrible rendition, it was still quite impressive as a whole, especially since it was planned just that morning. The next time Erin was aware of her surroundings, the entire cafeteria had crowded around Nick and the band, like a mob of hungry fans. The girls swooned and the guys nodded in a fit of jealously. Right now, Nick was the most desired boy in school, and he was all hers.
Until Jo took the “stage.”
To her horror, and the shock of the crowd, Jo climbed onto stage, right as he was finishing his number. Still caught up in the song, Nick didn’t see her coming, and before Erin could cry out in protest, Jo had grabbed Nick’s face, and gave him a forced, wet, French kiss.
It was disgusting
, and the guys muttered in protest while the girls stood back in jealously. Erin was speechless, and when Jo was done, Nick just looked at her. They stared into each other’s eyes, waiting for the other to make a move, when Nick grabbed her and kissed her back just as hard.
Erin gasped in horror and folded to the floor in pain.
The curse couldn’t be real…It didn’t make any sense…
She then noticed the other students looking at her, wondering what happened since she had been the purpose of Nick’s musical number. Now, he was making out with her best friend instead, for all the school to witness. Was she just going to stand there
And she decided that no, she wasn’t.
She ran, right out of the school doors for she couldn’t bear to face Nick or Jo now.
e her face was covered in tears and her heart was left shattered on the cafeteria floor…