2.8: A New Version of Hell

Parental Advisory Explicit Content
Generation 2 is Not Safe For Work and Not Suitable For Children.


600nts

We last left Annika in 2.7: We Should Do This More Often, after her callous ‘seduction’ of Jessie by the tidal pool–something she’d had planned ever since her last disappointing experience with Abel. If she hasn’t officially kicked Abel to the curb yet, it’s safe to say that she’s realized by now that Abel is little more than a habit, and a lousy one at that. Sadly, her seduction of Jessie was just to get off, and while she understood that it upset him, she’s not fully aware of why, yet.

Now we’ll pick up immediately after, to see Jessie’s fall-out from the incident.

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Jessie berated himself all the way back to the village.

She was right. He had wanted it. He’d wanted it even before she jumped him. He’d wanted it even before today. Long before today. This, he finally acknowledged to himself, had been the case for a long time.

 

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It wasn’t the sex. It was her. Hadn’t he always treasured her as something more than a friend? His thoughts dredged up a forgotten memory of stealing a kiss from her one day after swimming. They couldn’t have been older than 7. Even more so now than then, though, Annika was not someone who took a kiss seriously. Her carefree nature was something he loved about her, but it was exactly why they could never be more than friends.

Today’s encounter had turned a moment of weakness into a perfect explosion of unadulterated want, and he wasn’t sure who he was more pissed off at for it–himself, or Annika.

Her words echoed around in his head. Today I wanted to do you. That explained why she’d been so ready so fast. She’d already known exactly what was going to happen. Why me? Why today? Why the fuck do I even care? Every other guy would be jealous of me right now. They’d be shouting it from the mountaintop if this happened to them. Despite her overly casual views on sex, Annika was not a girl that just anyone could have, and just about every guy Jessie knew of would be jealous of a chance to catch her attention.

Probably even Abel. Jessie laughed darkly. Being one of Annika’s best friends, he was often ‘included’ in her girl talk when Aimee was around, so he knew that despite outward appearances, she didn’t have much to do with Abel beyond the bonfire parties all the teens attended.

 

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Oh Annie…The hopelessness of all this was almost hilarious. This was an entirely new version of hell.

I could’ve said no. She has no idea what she does to me.  Well, if she hadn’t known before, she surely knew it now. Burying his dick in her wasn’t exactly the greatest way of saying ‘I only like you as a friend’. Yes, she’d always gotten to him.

He could go back and have her again right now. He knew it. We should do this more often, she’d said. And who even cared about Abel anyway? He was a scrawny fucker, Jessie could take him any day. But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was it wouldn’t mean anything to Annika. The problem was that it meant something to Jessie. She was damnably important to him.

He understood Annika very well on many levels, and he likewise knew that she cared for him and their friendship. But Annika was not a romantic, and did not take love or sex seriously, nor did she pretend to understand why everyone else did take it seriously. For her, today had just been about getting off.

If he kept letting her get to him like this, it would make a wreck of him and ruin their friendship. Maybe he should just enjoy the ride down, and then let it go and be done with her, …except, he couldn’t.

 

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He could still smell her on him; the heady scent of their mixed body fluids, and Annika’s own unique scent twined rudely through his senses.

On second thought, he kept jogging down the beach, breaking into a run past the village, racing himself headlong to the cove. Clambering over the rocks and through little pools, he dove straightaway into the water, staying under as long as he could, until his lungs begged for air. Salt water bitterly stung the scores that Annika’s nails had left on his shoulders; her marks of conquest were both the physical and figurative monkey on his back.

Breaking through the surface again, he struck a grueling pace and swam all the way to the mouth of the cove.

 

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Finally drained, he swam back to the big stone arch, and hauled himself to shore.

Why the hell had she come at him like that? They were just friends. And that was how it should be. For all that she was perfect just the way she was, Annika was too much for him.

Way too much.

And now he’d as much as told her he wanted her. This time, it was gonna be hard as hell to just go back to normal. Today she had blurred his careful boundaries between Annika the friend, and Annika the woman. Annika the lover.

He had a tight feeling that this was going to be a losing battle.

Imagining he could still smell her on him even after his swim, he sighed. Annika would tell him to lighten up. You’re too serious, Jessie, she had teased him on more than one occasion. And normally, her teasing made him smile. Jessie loved that about her.

 

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A familiar, overwhelming static gripped him, obliterating present time and space. The sunny ocean dissolved before his eyes, narrowing into the soft light of an overcast afternoon. Campfire smoke hung in the air, along with the fragrance of fruit trees…and Annika.

Yes,” she said, after a moment’s consideration.

You will?” Jessie heard the relief in his own voice.You’re sure?”

She stood, pulling him up with her. She framed his face with her hands. “You deserve more than me, Jessie.” 

He shrugged, overly casually, riveted by her hands and her sad, deep violet eyes. “I don’t want anyone else,” he said. That much was the truth. She didn’t need to know the rest; otherwise, she’d refuse. “And you’re my best friend, and I’m good with Cayden, and–“

She pulled his face down to hers and kissed him. He returned the kiss for a long minute, since he had the opportunity. “I’m sure,” he said. “I don’t want that piece of shit to ever touch you again. He won’t dare, now.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

His fingers blindly dug into the sand, willing himself back into reality. Slowly the sun expanded into the here and now. Lowering himself back against the dune, he closed his eyes. The hot sand burned into the scratches she’d left on his back. Reality. He sighed.

 

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“Jessie, you came!” Annika looked up in surprise when he arrived the next day.

“I said I would,” was his gruff reply. He’d told her he would come by to help her carry some bottles of nectar up to the bonfire pit for tonight’s party.

He hadn’t gotten much sleep last night. The vision had haunted him, and he silently searched her eyes now to disabuse himself of the unreality of that vision. It had been far too real to pass off as wishful thinking or an overactive imagination, but he put no faith in what his mother called the Sight. He was skeptical of anything not grounded in reality.

Annika stood up, smoothing her skirt, for once looking a little unsure of herself. Her look was as sober as his as she took a step toward him. Behind his face of stone, Annika saw struggle and …disgust? And beyond that, hurt, and that cut her. She hadn’t meant to hurt him. “Jessie, about yesterday…”

He held up a hand, and her words trailed off. “You were right. I wanted it. Obviously. But that shouldn’t have happened. You’re my best friend. You’re also Abel’s girlfriend, until you wise up about that jackass. In the meantime Annie, please, don’t drag me into that mess. I care about you, and if you care about me, at all, don’t complicate our friendship with your fun. I just…I can’t.”

She nodded at the end of his speech.

Huffing a little sigh, he looked away, then back. Move on. “So where’s the nectar?”

“I put it around back so Jace wouldn’t see it.”

“Well let’s get going.”

“Weren’t you going to bring your guitar?”

“We can pick it up from mom’s house on our way up the trail.”

 

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At his mom’s house, Jessie rolled his eyes when Bronwyn enthusiastically greeted Annika.

Great, just great, he thought, when Bronwyn reached for Annika’s hand, ostensibly in greeting, and her eyes glazed over for a few moments. She was Seeing, and he had a pretty good idea just what she was Seeing. Awesome. She knew too much already. It was intrusive, having your mom know all about your ill-gained sex life. Grabbing the nectar bottles and his guitar, he roughly snatched Annika’s other hand and pulled her away, glaring at Bronwyn as she gave the two that annoying, knowing look of hers.

He dropped Annika’s hand. “Let’s get a move on,” he said curtly.

 

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“Swift!”

Jessie stopped in his tracks when he heard Abel’s weaselly voice call out. Looking over his shoulder, he saw a grinning Abel walking up behind him. Abel gave him a thumbs up. When he clapped his hand on Jessie’s shoulder, Jessie immediately realized he should’ve worn a shirt. At least until Annika’s claw marks had healed.

“Look at you, my man! You got some serious action this weekend!” Abel laughed, leaning back to look at the marks on Jessie’s shoulders. Someone else hooted.

Jessie shot Abel a dark look. “It’s nothing,” he shrugged. Annika looked at him, raising an eyebrow, but her expression lacked its usual teasing demeanor, and he wondered what she was thinking. His eyes returned to Abel.

“Sheeeit. Looks like you made some lucky lady verrrrry happy,” he was saying.

“You could say that,” Jessie said. He shrugged again, nonchalantly. Abel laughed again, slapping him on the back once more before wandering toward the kids grouped around the bonfire.

 

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Annika turned to him after Abel walked away. “Does it hurt?”

Seriously? “Of course it fucking hurts.”

“I’m sorry Jessie,” she murmured.

He watched as she went to find Aimee. I’m sorry Jessie. She wasn’t apologizing about scratching his back; he knew that.

And just like that, the status quo was restored. He hoped so, anyway. He truly didn’t want to lose her friendship. He just couldn’t do things Annika’s way, not without feeling even more for her.

Absently he scratched at a scabbed claw mark, surveying the party. Picking up his guitar, he too headed for the bonfire. Might as well get some enjoyment out of the night; making music was better than brooding.

 

600nts

Shout out and slurpy kisses to ShakespearesSunshyne, who made Jessie’s scratch marks for me, and Nirar, whose comment inspired the title for this chapter.