2. The Thorn on My Side

2011, Senior year in high school ...

I looked at my twin brother Ansel whose eyes were fixated on Jessica as she bounced around in the football game, cheering for our team.

"If you like her so much, why don't you ask her out?" I managed to say between crunching on popcorn.

"I think you forgot the most important thing. Jessica already has a boyfriend," Ansel said. His eyes were full of sadness.

"Connor? He is barely important. Soon Jessica will see that he is a humongous douche and leave him," I waved my hands in dismissal.

"You know are too hard on the guy. Connor is my friend, and he is really not that bad," Ansel said, then chuckled as I made a face.

"I think there's something wrong with your brain, dear bother. Not that bad? That guy is a nightmare! Don't you remember what he did to me when we were 13?" I said.

Oh, did I mention how he mixed green dye in my shampoo as one of his little pranks? I had to walk around with green hair for an entire week!

I was starting to breathe heavily as the memory excited me. And not in a good way.

Ansel looked at me for a moment, then burst out laughing.

"It wasn't funny!" I groaned.

"I thought you looked great with green hair. Very Punk Rock," Ansel said between laughing. Imbecile.

"Shut up. It wasn't funny. I thought I'd have to shave my head because the dye wouldn't wear off!" I whined.

"Look. We were just kids, and it was a joke. Lighten up sis," Ansel said.

Oh, Ansel. My sweet brother, he was way too nice. I, on the other hand, was not too forgiving.

After the game, I went to greet Jessica at her locker.

"Hey Anya! Are you coming to the party tonight?" Jessica asked me cheerfully.

"I don't know. I don't like parties that much," I shrugged.

"Come on. It'll be fun. Ansel said he'd come. Connor and I will be there," she said.

Of course, Ansel is going. He will go just because Jessica is going. But Jessica had no idea how he felt about her. I felt bad for my poor twin. He was such a sweetheart, but Jessica only had her eyes on Connor.

It wasn't like Ansel had a hard time finding a girl. It was the opposite. With his piercing grey eyes and sharp jaw, he had the face of a supermodel. Our mom always told us he looked just like our dad, and she was right. Our dad Ivan Adams was the epitome of handsome.

Girls at our school pined over Ansel, but he had his eyes on one person only. Jessica, who was now taken by Connor.

"Alright, fine. I'll come even though I'd have to see that douche canoe there," I sighed.

Jessica laughed. "You really don't like Connor, do you?"

"Nope. I made that clear since the beginning, but you insist on dating him anyway," I said.

"He is not as bad as you think," Jessica said.

"Why is everyone keep saying that? Did Connor pay you guys allowance to praise him or something? I mean, his mommy and daddy are rich, so..." I continued.

"No, seriously. He acts like a stupid jerk sometimes, but he is actually very sweet and really smart," Jessica insisted.

"Riiight... smart. You won't convince me. I can't stand him, and I never will. But I will tolerate him because you are my best friend and I love you. For now," I said.

"Tolerate who?"

My heart jumped as I heard the deep voice of the devil himself. How much did he hear? I hope all of it because I want him to know he was the thorn to my side.

"I was just telling Jessica how much I want you to get mauled by a bear," I said nonchalantly.

"Dayum Adams, that's harsh," Connor let out a hearty laugh. His green eyes sparkled. I see the appeal now. The bastard had an attractive laugh.

"Oh, sorry, you're right. That was too mean. Being run over by a truck will do nicely," I nodded.

He put his arm around my shoulder. "You're just mad that you couldn't get a piece of me before Jessica snatched me away."

I looked at Jessica with bewilderment, but she just rolled her eyes. "As if! My taste is much more refined than hers. You are too much of a hoebag for me," I said and shrugged his arm off.

"Hey! That's insulting me too," Jessica winced.

"Sorry Jess, the truth hurts. It would be best if you broke up with him immediately," I urged.

"You are a funny girl, Adams. See you at the party," Connor flicked my forehead and took Jessica's hand, then they both walked away.

I rubbed my forehead. God, I hate that guy!

Later that night, Ansel and I headed to the party. Not to brag, but we both earned a few admiring glances as we entered the house. Blake Green approached me as I was leaned against the wall, sipping on my drink that I shouldn't be drinking.

"Hey beautiful," he smiled flirtatiously.

"Hey," I said. Normally I would scoff at a cheesy greeting like this, but Blake was H.O.T. hot, and I was glad he approached me. "What's up? I asked casually.

"Oh, I just saw you were standing here by yourself, so I wanted to say hi. I've seen you around the school and always wanted to talk to you, but you are kind of intimidating," Blake laughed.

"What, really? I don't know what you mean," I asked.

"Well, you are beautiful, have a protective brother, and also have wealthy and powerful parents, so some of us guys are too scared to ask you out," Blake said.

"Oh, don't be silly. I am not all that," I waved my hands in dismissal.

"You aren't rich and powerful?" Blake raised his eyebrows.

"I am, but you don't need to be scared. I don't flaunt my wealth at people and don't abuse my power. Neither does my brother," I said.

"Then does this mean it's okay to flirt with you?" Black grinned.

I looked at him more closely. Yup, still hot. "Of course, it's okay," I laughed. Yes, I know I am a shallow bitch. Don't judge me.

"Great. I am gonna get you another drink, and we can dance the night away," Blake offered.

"Sounds good to me!" I nodded.

Pretty soon, I was on the dance floor with a drink in my hand, swaying my hips with Blake. I was having an amazing time, but that was until Connor stepped in and ruined everything.

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