Leaning across his desk, Quincy Todd took the loose-leaf paper he’d balled up and sent it flying two desks in front of him. Landing exactly where he wanted it to land, he smiled when his intended target turned to face him.

There was a smug look on her face. The girl knew she was fine, and she knew it was a matter of time before he came to gain her attention. She’d been waiting. “What, Quincy?”

He licked his lips, cutting straight to the chase. At this point in his young life, at his level of experience, Quincy saw no point in beating around the bush. “You and me, tonight at Melrose.”

“Boy, ain’t nobody about to let us up in Melrose. I’m still sixteen.”

“And I’m seventeen, but that’s what they got fake IDs for, Ma. I got one, and I know you do too. Come on, Bianca, you know you wanna join me. You know I’ll show you a real good time too.”

She bit down on her bottom lip, nodding. “And what’s Janine going to say about that?”

Unfazed, Quincy responded quickly. “She ain’t got me on no leash. I do what I please, and what I’m tryna do now is get close to you.”

“Probably just close enough to get on top of me.”

“Shit, that too. What’s good? We could kick it tonight, and a little while longer if you’re down.”

Bianca smirked, turning in her desk. Ripping a small piece of paper from her notebook, she jotted her number down and stood up. Walking to his desk, she stood before him and pushed the paper into the pocket of the shirt he wore and moved back to her desk. “And you better call.”

“Trust, I won’t keep you waiting long.”

 

“Damn man, can you and your crew of piranhas leave a girl for the rest of us?”

Looking behind him, Quincy let out a low laugh as he shook his head. He came face to face with Lionel Kent, one of the few people at Echelon High that seemed to always find some type of reason to beef with him and his friends.

Much like Quincy, Lionel was a pretty boy. A fair skinned athlete with ‘good hair’, the perfect smile, and a voice that wrapped around girls’ hearts like silk. He too could get any girl he wanted with ease, if they chose to go for the whole unibrow look on a dude they wanted to get close to. But unlike Quincy, he had nothing that most girls cared for beyond flashy clothing, money, and a nice car. When he wanted to act caring or as if he wanted more than sex, Quincy could at least hold the attention of young girls with good conversation, an interesting personality, a sense of humor, and charisma. They were about the same height, Lionel the huskier of the two, while Quincy had thinned out his freshman year and kept in shape while playing for Echelon’s varsity basketball team. “Maybe you should move a little quicker. Don’t tell me you can’t get a single date just because of us. Between the six of us, we can’t take ‘em all.” Though they’d try.

“Not one that wouldn’t be used or sloppy seconds.”

“Ohh, and that right there is why no girl wants you. How you disrespect the very girls you’re trying to get down with by calling them out for being what you are and doing what you do. If the act makes them something bad, what the hell does it make you?”

“Excuse me, Mr. Todd, I’m so sorry to interrupt your conversation…” Quincy turned in his seat, apologizing. “But I would like to start my class. Are you and Mr. Kent done?”

“Yeah, Mrs. Corbin, I’m done.”

“Thank you. As I was saying,” Almost immediately, Quincy tuned the lesson out. Thoughts of the evening he hoped to have in mind.

 

Out in the commons area, keeping his voice low and his tone even, Dominic DeWitt took one deep breath before speaking. “Now Marcy, you were acting so calm this morning. Suddenly you copped an attitude? You knew what it was, so why you buggin’?”

“I’m buggin’ because you’re an asshole!”

Dominic stood with a stale look on his face, waiting for the young girl to point out something about himself that he didn’t already know. “Okay.”

“How do you immediately jump in some other girl’s face the same day you break my heart?”

“First; I was having a simple conversation with the office aide. Since you wanted to be watching like a hawk, you should have been ear hustling too. You would have heard us talking about how I can get taken out of Ms. Patrice’s class. Second; that was at 7:30 this morning. I’ve had three class periods, a small break and enough time for me to change my schedule, all before lunch. Third; I don’t have to look to you for permission on what I do with my time. Now I was real respectful, but you’re doing too much and I’d hate to be even more of an asshole, so please leave me alone.”

“There is a waiting period, you miniature dwarf! Everybody knows that. You don’t just rush to the next chick. We had something special.”

Dominic chuckled dryly, instantly annoyed that she would make mention of his height. A low blow, considering her tone and how she yelled it out for others around them to hear. Completely disregarding the hurt look on her face, he spoke curtly. “We both know what’s not miniature. We both know you had some good rides on it too. Tuck that in your memory and hope it lasts you until you get over what you thought we had.”

When she reached for him, Dominic jerked away and walked away.

 

Reaching the cafeteria in no time, he walked in with a scowl on his face. Immediately, he spotted most of his crew as everyone took seats at their designated table. Avoiding the lunch line, he took a seat and finally exhaled.

Marcus looked over the rim of his sunglasses, a goofy smile spreading across his face. “Somebody’s drop went terribly wrong.”

“Nah, Dom was smart enough to get his out of the way early.”

“Or so I thought.” Jason took a bite of his food, urging his best friend to go on. “Man, just know the shit was enough to make me wanna chill this year.”

Collectively; Jason, Marcus, and Adam burst into laughter, startling students sitting at the table surrounding them. Dominic found nothing about his statement funny. Adam said what they were all thinking. “Bruh, you, single… a complete joke. By the end of the day, you’ll have at least three options if you haven’t already set your eyes on someone.”

Jason chimed in. “And tomorrow, you’ll be hugged up and making false ass promises for the following six months.”

Dominic sighed, hating that they were right. “There is this one honey that just moved here over the summer. I met her at my parents’ country club. If I ever peep her on campus, I’m definitely going for it.”

“I’m surprise ain’t nobody throw themselves on you today. You know, the customary Dom Day antics.”

Dominic’s usual smile returned as he remembered that it was his birthday. “The only great thing about school always starting on my birthday. With my luck lately, all my exes have probably teamed up to surprise me with something bad.” He turned around, checking over his and his boys’ shoulders for a few seconds before he relaxed. “Nah, on the real, I had to stop girls from doing that. Always ruined my prospects and chances at stepping to someone new. You just got a bunch of lap dances from all them skeezers, and you think I’m ‘bouta give you my number so you can dog me with one of them? I’d rather start with my regular disadvantages.”

“Which are?”

He looked at Marcus. “My height and my ways. At least I can smooth talk through those. The next girl I want watches me get rubbed down or tongued down before I step to her, I have no chance.”

“Especially with the type of girls you be chasing. Happy birthday though, Dom. Seventeen, almost grown like the rest of us.”

“Jason, you’re younger than me. Shut the hell up.” They fell out laughing while Dominic reached across the table to steal one of the four bags of chips Adam had near him, thanking them all for their well wishes before they continued with their conversation.

 

An amused look on his face, Lewis Braxton leaned against the fence that separated the football field and track from the bleachers and concession stand; watching as two young girls fought it out.

It was thrilling, the first time he’d experienced a rivalry that ignited over him. It was heated, and he loved every single second. “You can’t be on his mind too often, Trick. He was screwing me last night!”

He watched as both girls swung at each other, shaking his head. “Ladies, ladies, can’t we all just get along.” When neither responded to him, he threw his hands up, watching for another minute as they went back and forth about who was better and who he loved more. The truth was, neither. They weren’t even really his type, just two girls who eagerly occupied his bed, or the backseat of his jeep, from time to time.

While it was true that he’d been seeing them both at the same time, for the same length of time, he had no true attachment or interest outside of sex in either one of them.

They were wasting their time, ‘battling’ for his heart. Once again, he tried to calm the storm. “Ladies, please, settle down.” He cautiously stepped between the two of them, flashing his pearly whites. His voice was low, sending a tingling sensation down their spines as he spoke to them. “I’m just going to be honest with you both. I’ve led you both on. For that, I am deeply sorry. It was just,” He exhaled, putting on the works. “It just got to be so hard to choose between the two of you. There’s so many wonderful things that I love about you both, things that made it difficult for me to decide.”

“Well you need to choose now.”

Rebecca, the shorter of the two, flipped her brunette hair over her shoulders and folded her arms across her chest. She was very shapely, and it fit her stature perfectly. A figure she’d acquired and maintained from rigorous workouts required by her softball coach. It was all Lewis loved about her. “It should be an easy choice. I’m obviously the better girl. I certainly do more for you, treat you better than this skank ever could.”

Shalonda, the raven haired beauty scoffed. Her skin was that of slightly burned toffee, glistened in the sun, and left Lewis dying to touch all over her body as often as possible. He was struggling to control himself in that very moment. “You white hoes sleep with a black boy one time, and automatically you think you’re above somebody? Get over yourself.”

“You should get over yourself. It’s me he wants.”

Lewis winced at her assumption, chuckling lightly as he stepped in once again. “Actually, I’m not interested in a relationship. I’m just out to have a little fun. Now, I feel that we should all set our differences aside. Become real good friends, and maybe from time to time, we can all link up. Have a little … fun, together.”

 

Shalonda pushed Lewis back, feeling no sympathy or remorse when he fell. “You must be out of your rabbit ass mind if you think I’m going to, not only play second, but start having threesomes with you and Sleeping Bimbo.”

“You better watch your mouth!”

“Or what?!” Shalonda stepped in front of Rebecca, watching as the girl flinched. She chuckled to herself, making the decision for Lewis as he stood and dusted the back of his jeans. “You know what, I’m canceling myself. You ain’t nothing but a dirty dog, Lewis Braxton, and I hope like hell you wake up with the fleas this hoe gon’ pass to you. Lose my number.”

Lewis watched with glee as Shalonda stormed away. She’d only made the first part of his mission easy. Turning to Rebecca, he awaited the same reaction. “Lewis, I can’t believe you would sleep around behind my back.”

He shrugged, his eyes darting back and forth before he finally responded. “I don’t know why you can’t believe it. I never said we were or would be exclusive.”

“That’s what I thought you would be bringing up today! You said you had something important to talk about.” She huffed, trying her hardest not to let tears spill from her eyes. “I feel so betrayed.”

“Listen,” He sighed, shaking his head at himself. “When I’m in between situations, or just looking for some quick action, maybe you and I can link up and do what we do best. Other than that, Love, I’m not making nothing exclusive. Not with you, or anybody else.”

Before he could blink, her manicured hand flew across his face. “Ugh, you make me sick! I never want to see you again!”

Rebecca stormed off, leaving Lewis to rub the side of his face. “Sounds perfect.” He pulled himself together, mentally checking what he thought would be a hard task off his list. “Me, in a relationship, willingly? These girls are funny.” Gathering his booksack from the bleachers where he’d left it, he rushed off to his next class just as the bell signaling the end of the first lunch period rang.

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