"Ugh! It's hot! How can you wear that thing? It's like 100 degrees!"
AJ fanned himself and stuck his tongue out, panting heavily like a dog would. I shook my head, smiling as I zipped up my sweatshirt.
"It's 60 out and perfect for a sweatshirt."
"What? It's boiling!"
"You are so over-dramatic." I laughed and stared down the road, my eyebrows furrowing.
"What time did they say they were picking us up?" AJ asked, mimicking me as I stared towards the corner.
"Talen said he'd be here around 5:00. It's 5:30 now."
"Of course, he'd be late," the blue-haired boy scoffed and crossed his arms, sticking out his bottom lip. "I'm hungrryyyy."
"Quit complaining," I snapped with irritation. "Why didn't you eat lunch?"
"Because I needed to save room for the greasy, fried shit at the carnival. DUH."
"Well, he should be here any minute."
Just as the words came out of my mouth, the familiar red mustang pulled around the corner and up AJ's driveway, sounding the horn in two quick successive beeps. My face brightened when my blue eyes met his hazel ones through the windshield.
"Hey!" Talen yelled from the car. "Sorry I'm late. I had a little trouble with the last stereo's speaker cables. Hurry up and get in, I still gotta pick up Cain."
We nodded and jumped in the car, AJ crammed himself in the back and I settled into the passenger's seat, next to Talen.
"Hey," I whispered and smiled shyly at him. The sides of his mouth raised a bit as I greeted him.
"What's up, Rich Boy?"
"'Rich Boy?'" I turned toward AJ, his eyebrows raised in curiosity. "Gage, you don't get pissed when he calls you that?"
"N- No why?" I stuttered, glancing at Talen.
"Well you always used to flip out whenever someone called you 'rich'."
"I... uh," I faced forward and crossed my arms, my face red with embarrassment. Now it was probably obvious that I liked Talen more than a friend. "I got over it."
The hazel-eyed man laughed and shook his head, backing out of the drive-way.
"You kill me, kid."
We drove in silence for a while before pulling up to an old, worn down house. The shingles were falling off and the paint was peeling and yellow with age.
"CAIN," Talen screamed, sticking his head out the window, and blasting the car horn. "GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE!"
"Shut the hell up!"
A man stalked out of the house, a grimace on his face. His hair was short and black, spiked up into a faux hawk with the ends dyed red. You could barely make out the eye liner around his hazel eyes, the amount of it subtle enough to make his irises just a tad more defined. He was dressed in a collared, black t-shirt with a blue and black checkered tie around his neck, hanging loose to show his carefree and casual state. The skinny jeans on his legs were a bright blue accompanied by a pair of Converse sneakers. He seemed so dressed up for just a carnival.
"You're so impatient," Talen's brother hissed, climbing into the backseat. He glanced to his left to see AJ staring at him with wide eyes. "Who are you?"
I stared at my friend, raising an eyebrow. AJ was completely silent. Dead silent. What the hell? He was usually the most outgoing person when it came to meeting new people.
"AJ," I blurted out, making him jump.
"W- What?" He sputtered, straightening up in his seat.
"He asked you a question, blue," Talen snickered, backing out of the driveway.
"Oh, um," The blue-haired boy glanced over at Cain, rubbing his head, awkwardly. "Sorry. I'm AJ."
"I figured," Talen's brother answered, crossing his arms and squinting his eyes at my friend. "I like your hair."
"Really?" AJ's face suddenly brightened and he smiled shyly, lifting his hand to tug at a strand of his hair, gently. "Th-Thanks. I cut and colored it myself."
"Sick," Cain smiled, the cold look in his eyes fading away. "You planning on doing hair for a living?"
"Well, I always thought of it more as a hobby than anything."
"Well, you aren't bad, kid. Maybe I should stop by sometime so you can do mine."
At that, AJ's cheeks filled with a deep crimson color and he quickly looked away, covering his mouth with his hand and furrowing his eyebrows.
What a perv. I laughed to myself and shook my head, causing Cain to turn his attention toward me.
you're Gage, right?"
"Yeah," I answered. "And you must be Cain."
"The one and only," Cain smiled confidently. "It's nice to finally meet you. Talen won't shut the hell up about you."
I glanced over at Talen who was staring straight ahead, his features impersonal but his jaw was set with discomfiture.
"Is that so?" I smiled slyly. "What has he said?"
"Damn, a lot of things. This one time he came over to my place from hanging with you and he was going on about how much fun he had with you and how sexy you were and"
Suddenly, Talen slammed on the brakes, causing us to jolt forward in our seats.
"What the hell, dude?!" We all screamed at once, glaring at the hazel-eyed man who innocently kept his eyes on the road.
"Ow, fuck!" AJ exclaimed his hands cradling his forehead and his back arched with pain.
"Well that's what you get for not wearing a seatbelt, stupid." Cain scoffed, stifling a laugh.
"Shuddup." AJ murmured rubbing his forehead. Cain chuckled and reached over him, grabbing the seatbelt and tucking it into the buckle. His hand rubbed against AJ's body as he pushed the adjoining parts of the safety strap together. AJ's face was bright red as I turned back around in my seat.
"Oops," Talen shrugged. "Almost ran a red light," He said apologetically.
Once at the carnival, we bought our wrist bands and squeezed through the crowded entrance.
"Ah," Cain exhaled, wiping his forehead. "We made it in alive! Now let's get our eat on! I'm starving!"
Staring at Cain, I finally realized how alike he and Talen really were. They had almost the exact same personality which included the fact that they both loved to eat. Not to mention, they looked similar too.
"Nah, Man," Talen surprised me. He was saying no to food? "Gage and I are gonna head to the rides. You two have fun and meet us at the entrance in a few hours."
With that, Talen turned and began pushing through the crowd. I quickly followed behind him, though it was hard to keep up with that long-legged stride. With the dense mass of people and the sun setting, I began to lose Talen. I could no longer see his tall figure or his long, black hair. Where had he gone? I stopped in the midst of the crowd and spun around, trying to look over the looming bodies to try to spot the lanky man.
"Talen?!" I yelled, jumping off the ground to try to find him. Why did I have to be so short? I ran out of the crowd, toward a building surrounded by fewer people and looked toward the mob, hoping I might spot my friend.
Suddenly, a hand touched my shoulder and I spun around to see a man with blonde, spiky hair. His goatee was the same color but his cheeks were red and he swayed slightly, a crooked smile on his face.
"Heyy," His voice slurred as he reached for me, touching my face with a shaky hand. "Yur not bad lookin'. You single?"
I slapped his hand away, a disgusted expression on my face.
"Don't fucking touch me," I hissed, pushing past the drunk to continue my search for Talen.
"Hey, I wasn't done, you little bitch," The man yelled, gripping the hem of my shirt, stopping me from advancing.
I spun around to punch the pervert but he gripped my wrists and pulled me against him, making me gag. He smelled like a mix of vodka and horse shit.
"Let me go!"
"Not 'til I'm inside those nice lil' pants of yurs."
I ripped my arms from the drunk's grip and turned to run but ran right into another body. Their arms wrapped around me tightly and I squeezed my eyes shut.
"Please! Let me go!"
My eyes flicked open and I looked up at the man holding me.
"Talen," I gasped, my cheeks darkening.
"Let my 'lil bitch go," The stranger slurred, walking toward Talen and me.
"Come any closer and you'll surely get your ass kicked," My protector murmured with disregard.
"Stop," I whispered, gripping the front of Talen's shirt. "We can't get into trouble. Not here. My parents know the owners. They don't know I'm here."
Talen scoffed and pushed me aside gently, gripping the man's shirt and slamming him against the building aggressively.
"You fucking touch him again, lay even a finger on him," Talen gritted his teeth together and tightened his grip. "I will rip off every single one of your fingers and feed them to a pack of wild dogs."
"What the hell?" The man whispered his voice shaky with terror.
"And one last thing," He smiled, warmly. "Don't drink and drive."
Releasing the man, my black-haired friend walked up to me, grabbed my hand and began walking away.
"Talen?" I stared up at him, his face stone cold. "Are you mad"
All of a sudden, Talen released my hand and doubled over with laughter.
"O- Oh my god," He laughed, falling to the ground, people staring at him. "That was hysterical!"
"H- How?!" I yelled.
"He looked so scared, I thought he was gonna shit himself!"
"You're ridiculous. But
" I looked away, my cheeks burning. "This might sound really corny but thanks for, y'know, saving me."
"Oh Gage," Talen stood up and wrapped an arm around my shoulder. "Am I your hero?"
"Oh yes," I smiled, widely and looked up at him. "Definitely."
"It's my job to save damsels in distress."
"You're such a douche!" I laughed and punched his stomach.
"Oh man," He gripped his stomach and looked up at me with over-dramatic pain. "That hurt so much. I- I think I'm gonna die."
"You're stupid," I crossed my arms and smirked as he reached out his hand dramatically.
"It's okay! Go on without me! I'll die here, slowly and painfully."
"Do you want to go on rides or are you just gonna play this silly game all night?"
Talen laughed and straightened up.
"You're so right. Hey are you afraid of heights?"
I gulped and looked up at him.
"Cool, because the sun is setting and I want to watch it from the top of the Ferris wheel. And you're going with me."
"Wow," I grinned.
I stifled a laugh and looked away.
"I never knew Talen, badass of the century, cared so much about watching a sunset! You're not going all sentimental on me, are you?"
"As if! A guy like me doesn't have to put up a hard front all the time."
I burst out laughing.
"That's what she said!"
"You've been hanging out with me way too much," Talen smirked.
We walked to the Ferris wheel and I looked up at it with wide eyes. I had to get in that thing?
"Sweet, no line!" Talen pumped his fist in the air as the ride conductor opened the latch on the ride and we climbed in.
"Keep hands and feet inside the ride at all times," The conductor said, carelessly and locked the latch. "Have fun."
As the Ferris wheel moved forward, I gasped and squeezed my eyes shut. My stomach churning as I felt us being lifted into the air.
"Gage? Open your eyes! You're gonna miss the sunset!"
I shook my head and gripped the seat, ignoring Talen.
"You told me you weren't afraid of heights."
"I lied, okay?!"
"We're almost to the top! Just open your eyes!"
I shook my head again, stubbornly, scared of what I would see if I opened them.
"Gage," Talen whispered, putting a reassuring hand on my knee. "I won't let anything happen to you. I swear it."
My heart skipped a beat and I inhaled slowly.
My eyelids lifted, gradually as I gripped Talen's hand tightly, my hand shaking.
"Look," He whispered, smiling crookedly and pointing out over the trees where the sky was a beautiful combination of purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows. "Isn't it awesome?"
"Wow," I breathed, my eyes widening. "It is."
The ride jolted to a stop, unexpectedly, causing me to grip the seat and squeeze my eyes shut once again.
"Why does it have to stop at the top?" I whined, my body shuddering with distress.
"Gage, you're not going anywhere."
Talen slid his arm around my waist, gently, making me shiver with a slight tickle of pleasure. What was he doing? His hand slid up my leg, tenderly, causing my heart rate to quicken.
I turned my head toward Talen and without warning, his lips were on mine. I inhaled quickly, my hands tightening again around the seat. My eyes flew open and I was staring at Talen's closed lids. My mind began spinning and my body shook with pleasure. I shut my eyes, my arms gradually sliding up and around his shoulders, my fingers entangling around his neck. God, I had dreamt about this for so long and it had finally happened. Not wanting to stop, I pushed my lips against Talen's, passionately as he pulled my body against his, his hands sliding up and down my back, tenderly.
Talen pulled away, reluctantly. We sat there for a moment, our breathing irregular. I looked up into those beautiful hazel eyes as he slid a hand through my hair.
"I like you, Gage," He whispered as the Ferris wheel lurched forward, my mind clouded with too many emotions to care about the rising ground. "A lot."