Two Brothers – Chapter 3: The Cons of Power.

Once more her hands race up the seams of the inner thigh of my jeans as she straddles my lap anxiously. My fingers dance across the small plastic buttons of her dress, plucking them undone one at a time with considerable expertise. With a drunk smile, I let my mouth entwine with hers knowing that it will help her relax. The faint music of the party once again raging in the background.

‘Tell me you love me?’ She demands, a purr in my ear, as my fingers finally free the dress from her drunken body. The lacy pink underwear is tight against her curves, I run a hand slowly across her chest, her body prickles with goosebumps, as she lets out a raspy laugh.

‘Love you, Scarlet.’ I pant as my hands continue to explore her naked skin, they slide down to her waist and pull her closer. My fingers dance on the edge of her underpants, wanting to touch her soft flesh. My body grows tense and excited with every movement of her body against mine. She giggles again, fumbling with the button on my jeans she gets to her knees. Pleasure is about to be mine.

The footsteps of others make their presence known, walking down the hall towards where we play. I motion to Scarlet to keep herself quiet as the steps grow louder. She mutters a curse under her breath followed by an innocent smirk as she continues to unzip my jeans silently. I lean back on the spot, hands behind me to keep my body planted. Shaft in hand, her tussled hair bobs with her body, the small gold cross necklace swinging around between her breasts as she causes me extreme and silent pleasure. As the footsteps pass us by and continue down their way down the hall, growing faint with every step, I let out a subdued guttural groan as Scarlet’s tongue twirls me to a climax.

‘I love your smile.’ Scarlet whispers, stopping her glorious mouth movements before I reach my peak, eyes big and doe-eyed. Standing she, straddles my lap once more, causing me painful pleasure. We explore one another’s mouth in a tango of lust. My hands slide up from her lower back to the clasp of her bra. Her silky skin is warm as I slide my fingers across the hooks, popping it undone. Scarlet’s skin glows red in the pale light of the room, as she slides her bra free. I kiss the nook of her neck, and she strokes my hair. My hands make their way to her curved orbs, flushed and aroused. Her nipples pluck up into my palm, she wants me. All the flirting, all the games, all my hard work is about to pay off; Scarlet’s virginity is mine. I kiss my way down her chest, and my hands work on removing her underwear, but with each kiss, her body grows rigid. Her hands become less wanting, and soon she is pushing me slowly away.

‘I can’t.’ Scarlet mutters, sliding off my lap. ‘Well, what I mean is I don’t think I can do this. I don’t know if I’m ready to go all the way. I always thought when I lost my virginity it would be to my husband or at least a fully devoted boyfriend.’

‘Scarlet.’ I softly groan. Head leaning back against the wall. My chances of getting laid tonight pretty much void. ‘You knew the deal from the start, nothing serious, just a bit of fun. A friends with benefits kind of thing.’

‘I know, I know.’ Scarlet fumbles about, finding her bra, and puttering her formal dress back on. ‘That’s why I can’t go through with it, Tommy. I need something stable, something serious. Someone I can take home to meet my parents, and presently that’s not you.’

I shrug in agreement, soaking in what might be the last time I see Scarlet naked. I watch her button up her dress, flicking the cross out over the top of the bust line. I could whack one out on my own, but I zip my fly back up and buckle my belt. Scarlet chucks me my shirt which I catch and leisurely button, I might as well make the most of the evening and find Owen and Dimiti.

‘Though, if you’re after anything serious Tommy. You know where to find me.’ She smiles, applying lip gloss to her curved lips, as I open the door, ‘So I guess this is it for us then?’

‘For the time being, yes.’ I smile, ushering her from the science room we’d been hiding in. Before she vanishes off down the hall and back to her friends, Scarlet whisks a kiss on my cheek.

I close the door, pondering the night’s happenings for a moment. I shrug with a smile; okay I didn’t get laid, but honestly, things could have gone a lot worse. Altering the past with blood magic doesn’t always work out the way I would like it too. This time I hadn’t been caught, so no suspension, no Keith and Glenda, no abandoning Owen and Dimiti. My pride and life still intact.  If I am perfectly honest, I don’t really understand how it all works. When I was a child, I could do simple manoeuvres where I could make light flick from my fingers and sometimes I could make small objects move. It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I realised the true extent of the powers that I’d inherited. After a severe argument with Keith and Glenda, one that had resulted in a black eye and bruised ribs, I cut my wrists. I’d cut them deep with the intent of dying, but for some reason, I woke up two days earlier, two days before the argument took place, two days before Keith broke me.  No one remembered, no one but me. It was then that I realised that a blood sacrifice made my powers stronger. Of course, I’ve tried to rewind it back to before I was a Wallace, back to before he left and they died, back to when I was happy. I tried as soon as I could. I was fifteen, and I cut up my entire body up. Stabbed myself until I passed out, but all it did was send me back six months. Six fucking months. I tired another four times before I realised it was hopeless. So I gave up. Decided to us my “gift” for my guilty pleasures, to my selfish advantage, and to keep Owen and Dim safe, as they are the only real family I have left. Anytime it gets too tough, or Keith threatens to take me away from them, I rewind. No matter how painful it is their friendship is always worth it; I love them too much to let them go. I’ve lost enough already.

With a hefty sigh I return to the dance, the night is not yet lost. The hall is still packed, juniors mingle at one end and seniors at the other, the lights dimmed. It doesn’t take me long to spot my friends amidst the crowd. Dimiti is in a black gown with gold highlights and Owen in a plaid suit; they dance with each other, unreadable expressions upon their faces. Upon seeing me, they relax, separating from one another, they usher me over. Through the gargled tunes of the sound system, Owen convinces Dimiti and me to sneak up to the rooftop above the gymnasium. Other than the old church, this was our second favourite place to chill on campus. Waiting for Corvetz to make her rounds to the other side of the hall, the three of us sneak off and make the night ours. Dimiti reveals her flask, with what she claims contains absinthe, she takes a swig before passing it to myself. I raise the lip of the flask to my mouth, tip it back and swallow the liquid. My throat on fire, I hold back a cough and wince instead. Dimiti laughs at me, and I smile dumbly back at her as I pass the flask to Owen, who shakes his head and whips out a joint. As I said, drinking isn’t really his thing.

‘Well, this is trivial.’ Owen puffs out into the night sky, the smoke wisping around on the breeze, forming shapes with the stars. ‘I told you that the social would be a bust.’

‘Only because you were dateless, Owen. I warned you, women don’t like being called derogative terms.’ Dim says her flask kissing her swollen lips, her eyes heavy.

‘Speaking of which,’ Owen turns to Dimiti with a sly grin, ‘What happened to your date? You know the one with the problematic face.’

‘They’re called bracers.’ Dim punches Owen lightly on his shoulder. ‘He had other plans, ones that didn’t fit with my agenda, so I left him. Though I regret nothing, it was better than going with you!’

‘You could have gone with Shaelyn. I hear that she’s a lesbian these days. That fits your “agenda” right?’ Owen laughs rolling onto his back.

‘Fuck you, Owen.’ Dim punches him, her face burning in the moonlight. I laugh. Naturally, I let them squabble, the night’s sky calling me. Unlike the day, the night doesn’t cast such perfect light that highlights one’s flaws. In the night you can be whoever you choose to be, it’s during the day that you are the mirror reflected image of what society says you should be. I could get addicted to the night, it has this intoxicating hold on me that no woman or substance can replace. I sigh, the air I breathe in refreshing and damp. I soak in another breath, but this time I taste of something in the air. A rotting taste lingers in the back of my throat. I cough up a small bit of bile.

‘That crap smells like crotch.’ I call across to Owen; whose joint now lingers between Dim’s lips momentarily. She shrugs.

‘Smells fruity fresh to me.’ Owen cocks back as he draws a line of powder across the back of his hand. He holds his hand steady for someone with the shakes. But I guess if you’re an addict you hold still to get the buzz you need. He lowers his head and inhales the substance through one nostril. He flicks his head back with a broad beam.

‘That’s the stuff!’ He yells leaping from his back to his feet, to the moon crested sky. ‘Fuck yes.’

Dim giggles and joins Owen, the swagger of her body an inebriated dance. My odd friends, who seem just right, hold hands and scream out into the night sky like beasts. From a crouched position I grab hold of Dim’s hand, and she drags me up. I stand taller than the two of them, but we fit together in the perfect puzzle of bodies. The night fills with the howls of those who are oppressed throughout the day.

Tá mé ag labhairt dóibh sa oíche.’ I howl.

‘What’s that, Tom? What the hell did you just say?’ Dim asks quizzically, her face a soft pink in the shadow of the moon, as the whisper of old words leave the tomb of my voice box.

‘I am speaking to the night. My mum used to do it. My real mum, she used to say that the night held great power.’ I say. Dim says nothing, instead, she just pats my shoulder. Owen and Dimiti are the only ones here who I’ve told about my real parents – that they are dead. I haven’t told them that they were murdered or that Ambrose ran away, they think he’s dead too. I told them they all died in a car crash.

‘Who’s up there?’ The beams of a torch quickly force the three of us into a clumsy crouch, against the tiles of the roof.

‘Oh shit!’ Owen mutters, his voice serious yet somehow managing to still sound comedic, as he lowers to the rooftop.

‘Shit. Shit. Shit!’ Dim giggles, as she flies downwards to Owen’s side. She fits snugly next to him. I do my best to lie down flat too, but my body feels crumpled, and my shadow has other ideas.

‘I see you up there. That tall shadow is hard to hide.’ Snapper, campus security, bellows up to the roof. Owen turns a red face to me, his eyes glare faintly for me to get lower.

Too late, I mouth at the two of them with one of my mischievous grins, Old Snapper’s seen me. I’ll make a dash for it. He’ll follow me. Then you two get going. Kay?

They nod in forced agreement before I push up off the old terracotta roof and begin to glide along the tiles with fast-paced yet cautious strides. The torch’s beams follow after me as Snapper waddles along, trying to catch my shadow. I glance back, Snapper is losing pace, and watch Owen and Dim’s shadows slink off towards the back side of the roof. I slow into a jog as I reach the edge. In one non-hesitant leap, I hit the ground and wait, crouched for Old Snapper to waddle around the corner in his old night gear. Instead, his torch flicks light around in a confused bouncing of beams. He’s lost me. I smile as I straighten up and walk through the main doors of the male dormitory building. My bed is still a crumple of sheets and clothing. The desk to its left strewn with magazines, CD’s, assignment criteria, a packet of cigarettes, pencils, pens, laptop and a small lamp which glows orange in the darkness of the room. My phone flashes twice from its position between a Mars Bar wrapper and the newest edition of Zoo. I grab it as Owen’s name flashes on the screen, followed by a picture of his ass. I laugh as I read the message.

You get away? Course you did, you’re bloody Thomas Wallace! Dim and I are all good, safe and sound. See you in the morning, my brother.

I flick a simple text back letting them know I am okay before I strip down to my jocks and flicking some clothes off my bed. I shoot back the fresh sheets and slide within. My eyes heavy, I close them in the hope that my sleep will be sound. I drift easily into a menacing slumber only to wake terrified without any recollection of what I was dreaming about. This is usual for me; I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since I was three. With a weary glare at the clock to find it reads 7:01 a.m. I recline in my bed, light sneaks into my room only to dance on my arms. It pisses me off. The memories are always raw. Replace them? My conscience begs with a smile, hands sliding down my naked torso. In the heat of excitement my hands motor. Dim, I think my hands halting to find a clean pair of sweatpants, she’s going to burst in any second. Once I wriggle my pants on, I grab a magazine and act as if I am thoroughly engrossed by it.

‘Tom?’ Dimiti says with a rushed knock at my door before entering without an answer, her uniform rutted.

‘Morning Dimiti my dear.’ I yawn smugly as she flops on to the end of my bed, slouched back against the wall. ‘I see the night continued on once I left. You reek of la spirits.’

‘For fuck’s sake, Tom.’ Dimiti groans at the magazine I have been pretending to read, it’s a rather raunchy glamour girl magazine. I smirk at her and chuck it aside, but she has already begun to rant in her usual feminist fashion. ‘Those magazines give men the wrong perception of what real women look like! They are edited and fake. Not only is it an insult to the real and gorgeous women of the world, but these styles of magazines are teaching young women that these women are the only women desired by men!’

‘Cool it Dim.’ I cock. ‘I know what real women look like, and I still prefer them over the glamour girls. It’s just glamour girls get me up in the morning. No pun intended.’

‘You’re fucked in the head you know that right?’ She lets out a suffocated laugh with a solid punch to my leg.

‘Ow! Did I really deserve that Dim?’ I groan, my mouth still twitching in a sarcastic grin, as I jump out of bed and put on some respectable clothing. ‘Why’d you rush in on me like that? Lose your flask?’ I smile knowingly. Time changes aside, one thing that never changed was Dim losing her antique flask.

‘Yes.’ She looks at me puzzled, I usher for her to chuck me my blazer. ‘But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about. Last night, after we did a runner from Old Snapper, something happened between me and –’

A loud commotion from outside my room breaks me from Dim’s conversation. I open the door to see a tenth grader yelling at her twelfth-grade boyfriend, Ryan Hoskins about his infidelity. I recognise the girl, with her blonde hair and bouncing chest, concealed by frilly pink nightwear. She’s nowhere near as hot as her sister, but there is no denying that Holly is a Holland. She’s a miniature Scarlet through and through. Holly sneers up at her boyfriend, one of her manicured fingers digs into his chest.

‘Tell me it’s not true. Tell me it meant nothing. But do not lie to me!’ Holly points at Ryan with heavy breathing.

‘Holly,’ Ryan tries to play it cool, playing with the zipper on his hoodie, avoiding the gaze of the other seniors in the corridor, ‘I swear nothing happened. Corvetz has it all wrong. I wasn’t, she and I weren’t, nothing happened. We were just talking – nothing happened, I swear.’

Holly’s eyes grow huge, big tears rolling down her pink cheeks, she spits back at him, ‘It would have been a bit hard for her to talk with your cock in her mouth!’

The corridor of spectator’s let out an engrossed gasp, but Holly is oblivious, spurred on by her anger and betrayal.

‘How dare you do this to me, Ryan? People saw you sneak off with her, including me. I just thought maybe you were different. I was wrong. I hear they found you with your pants down and her on her knees. Real nice Ryan, fucking her in a storeroom. Oh, you have such class. Well, I’ll tell you what, she can have my sloppy second; we’re through!’

The guys I the corridor vanish back into their rooms as Holly makes her triumphant tear soaked return to the girl’s dormitories. Dim gives Holly a sympathetic look as she passes us by, instead of accepting the comfort Holly lifts her chin with a snobby huff and vanishes off down the stairs

Returning to my room to grab my blazer, I utter to Dim mindlessly, ‘Who on Earth wants to be bound in the life of serious relationships? I don’t get it. Promise me Dim, that when you decide to get a boyfriend that you’ll make sure he is nothing like Owen and me.’

She nods.

‘So what did you want to ask me, or tell me? I’m starved and I if we don’t hurry to breakfast I’m sure those tenth graders will have nicked our table again.’ I yawn, my stomach agreeing with a stubborn grumble.

‘Those twats are really beginning to bug me.’ Dim says following me out into the corridor.

We sluggishly make our way downstairs and out the front doors into the early morning of the courtyard. The pavement is iced in frost, making the trip across it to the dining hall exceptionally difficult. Using one another for support, Dimiti and I go to the dining hall just in time to faceoff with three tenth graders. They hesitate at our table, unsure whether or not they should sit or walk away slowly.

‘Do you know who this fucking is?’ Dimiti scowls at them before pointing to me. I smile, smugly as the tenth graders nervously nod and take a step back. Surely they can recognise their Head Boy, everyone knows who I am.

‘This table is ours until the year is out, capiche?’ Dimiti remarks, making a shooing signal with her hands. ‘Go pester someone else!’

The tenth graders mumble among themselves before giving in and taking their leave to the opposite end of the dining hall, watching the two of us the entire time until they sit.

‘You’re extra tetchy today.’ I say to Dim as we take out seats and begin our morning routine.

‘Just a late night,’ Dim utters as she tries to drown herself in orange juice, ‘and a killer of a hangover.’

I serve myself some hotcakes and a side of grade A, crackling, bacon, ‘so are you going to spill about what you needed to tell me, or –’

‘Oh, that, that’s nothing.’ Dim says her eyes wandering around the room as if looking for something, or someone. ‘It hardly seems important now. But, look, about my flask have you seen it or not? Truth is, I am freaking out a little about its whereabouts. I’m just really hoping that Christopher hasn’t intercepted it. It has Dimiti engraved on it.’

‘And there aren’t many Dimiti’s in this school, I know, I know.’ I pat her shoulder, my mouth jammed full of syrupy goodness. ‘I’m sure it’ll turn up, Owen probably has it or something?’

‘Um, yeah, Owen. You’re probably right.’ She replies hastily.

‘My ears are burning, someone must have been talking about me.’ Owen appears suddenly between myself and Dimiti, gleefully patting us both on the back before pulling up a chair across from the two of us. He aromatically fragranced today – a combination of cologne and marijuana – and is quick to pile scrambled eggs, bacon, grilled vegetables, hotcakes, syrup and hot sauce on to his plate. He must have a killer dose of the munchies, as usual.

‘Dearest Dimple,’ Owen talks across the table, food dangerously chewed as he speaks, ‘I have your flask, you left it in -’ Dimiti’s fine framed body suddenly becomes rigid, like she’s remembered something she wishes she hadn’t. Owen pauses, looking at her peculiarly, but only briefly before he continues to babble on, ‘doesn’t matter where you left it, the point is, I have it, and it’s safe.’

Her face flushes as she mutters, ‘Thanks’, as Owen carefully retrieves the flask and slides it across the table gracefully in between his monstrous chews. Dim collects it fast and hides it in her blazers pocket. With the awkward exchange complete, breakfast resumes as usual.

‘Oh Head Boy, my perfect Mr Wallace. We never did talk about Scarlet and you. I hope you got to do more than see the goods? Did you taste them, feel them, experience them?’ Owen chuckles, making sexual gestures with his hands and fingers.

‘She’s got some wicked good skills; I’ll give her that.’ I laugh back at Owen, the sun irritating me with its rays, pointing them into my eyes. Shielding my face, I continue, ‘Pity though, as Scarlet decided mid blowjob that she would rather a serious relationship before she went “all the way”, which is not something I’m ready for. Relationships are all rainbows and giggles until reality breaks in, then its infidelity, depression and angst; and only the insane marry. I tell you what, once women learn the truth about relationships I’ll be a happy man. Am I right Owen?’

I raise a triumphant, preacher’s hand, awaiting a high five from my friend. Owen hesitates for a second before he smirks and raises his hand to meet mine. ‘Still mighty fine job at attempting to claim the chastity of Scarlet. I can’t deny, I am a tad envious -’

‘I can’t believe you two!’ Dim snaps, her face red, hand turning to her morning juice which she painfully sculls down. ‘Owen don’t be such a misogynistic pig, or you’ll die alone, and Tom you need to think with your brains for once and not your cock. Women have feelings. We’re emotional beings. Relationships aren’t always bad if both counterparts are in it for the same reason.’

With that Dim takes her leave, pushing out of her chair and marching out of the dining hall dramatically, she’s really not in a pleasant mood this morning.

‘Women.’ I raise an eyebrow at Owen.

‘Women.’ He replies, suddenly not so eager to finish his breakfast.

We finish off silently eating our breakfast, unnoticed through the buzz of students discussing the happening of last night. I listen carefully to the discussion, honing in on every word being said, using the sensitive hearing I’d acquired at birth. The discussion seems to not only be about Ryan’s infidelity but also about two students who went missing after the social. I can put a face to one of the names, an eleventh grader, James, he’s on the football team and reasonably popular. The other name, Rachel, I can’t place a face to, but apparently, she’s only in year seven. Word is, their rooms were left untouched and that their friends haven’t seen either of them since last night. But I’m unsure if this is true as Corvetz is happily doing her rounds of the dining hall, her face unyielding of any information. As I follow Corvetz with my eyes, I spy Holly with her red and blotchy face sitting with sister. Scarlet shrouds her little sister from the spectators and scowls at Ryan who sits only two tables away, on his lonesome. When I meddled with time, I made sure that Scarlet and I did not get caught. Instead, Ryan and Sonia were the ones who got caught and were now both facing suspension. I’d dodged a bullet but had left Holly heartbroken. Go ahead, call me ruthless.

‘Mr Wallace.’ Ms Corvetz, surprises me from behind, leaning on the back of my chair with her full weight holding me in.

‘Ah, Ms Corvetz lovely morning isn’t it?’ I swing to the side of my chair, so that I may look her in the eye, ‘Anything interesting happen last night?’

‘Oh Mr Wallace, you’d know little about my night.’ She sighs deeply, worry creasing her usually stern face. ‘Let me just say, for once I was quietly surprised that I didn’t have to deal with you and semi-naked women, it was a nice change.’

‘I’m sorry to hear.’ I play along as I continue to read her face, in particular, her eyes. She’s hiding something that’s for sure, whether or not it is about the missing students I am unsure.

‘Don’t fake condolences with me,’ Corvetz sneers rolling her eyes, before she utters quietly close to my face, ‘but considering your counterpart Georgina is away on school business, making our school proud with her title, and I have to deal with some serious school business, I need you to, God, I can’t believe I am asking you this, I need you to pull your head out of your arse and do the school an honour by showing our newest transfer around.’ Ms Corvetz lets out a deep, pained sigh, followed by a thin lined smile. ‘I’ll need you to come and meet Miss Aisling Gale at the front office at two this afternoon. Can you manage that?’

Aisling, a true vision of God, a vision I’m glad to be showing around and not our nerdy, misleadingly hot head girl Georgina.

‘Can you manage that, Mr Wallace?’ Corvetz repeats impatiently.

‘It would be my pleasure.’ I grin back at Ms Corvetz, whose face instantly regrets asking me the question.

‘I’m sure it will be.’ She turns on her heels, but stops a meter away to caution me, ‘Thomas, I’ll say this much, Miss Gale is an asset to our school. An asset whose parents have a higher paycheck than your own. So please, hear me when I say this if you corrupt her suspension will be the least of your worries.’

I shoot back at her, ‘You got it! No meaningless hooking up with the new student. Check. I’ll do my best. I wouldn’t want you to call my mummy and daddy no matter how amusing it would be for you.’

Ms Corvetz ignores my cheery sarcasm, turning on the spot and stalking away to find some new prey.

‘The women here, man,’ I say turning back to Owen with my eyebrows arched, ‘they’re fucking mental.’

‘Amen man.’ Owen says solemnly, looking up from his phone before cheerfully adding, ‘I think we better hit the showers. Several flies just committed suicide when they flew into the gravitational pull of that gigantic head of yours.’

‘Speak for yourself.’ I laugh, looking down at my wristwatch. Twenty to nine it read. ‘But I guess we better freshen up before English. I think it’s going to be an interesting day.’

‘Whatever you say, man. So long as I am high as the sky itself any day is a good day.’ Owen winks as we stroll out of the dining hall and back towards the male dorms.

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