Anyone would have noticed how the two boys' gazes lingered on the girl; she was the one that every guy wanted: beautiful, charming, genuine. A summer girl, warm and as fleeting as the sunshine. And when it was cold, her eyes snowed, little snowflakes flickering deep down inside. But it was October right now, and if you looked closely you could see the leaves in her eyes turning colours.
And the two boys yet to be described: Thirteen years old, one little, light brown hair, little, little boy, the other one big, dark, handsome and fierce. And their faces: One a mask of rage and desperation, eyes flared and pleading, the other a taunting, jeering grin, daring the little, little boy to fight back.
Little boy, his dark eyes ask, what will it take to break you?
Little boy was cute, sure, he was cute. The girl noticed, of course. But he would never be anything more. Because he was such a little boy, for thirteen. Like a newborn kitten.
Open your eyes.
Handsome boy was attractive, of course. He was chiseled and burning with adolescence like a dragon. A burning, flaming dragon.
He was also a bully.
"Give it back!" little boy snarled. Gone was the fragile kitten; his dark gold and green eyes were blazing with hatred. Now he looked like a puppy, cornered and baring tiny teeth. Too afraid to whimper, but desperate enough to bite.
Handsome boy glanced at the girl and then quickly faced his victim. He smiled disparagingly, beautifully, but it was a fake grin; his eyes glimmered with mockery. "No," he calmly replied, holding the torn journal behind his back. He looked so powerful, a dragon of muscle and sinew. "What will you do to get it back?"
Little boy was breathing heavily, he was helpless against the bigger boy. But he didn't want to be helpless. "Nothing," said his pride. "Anything," whispered his fear. But he wouldn't let that show, not with the girl watching.
Suddenly, the journal was dangling in front of him, in the careless hand of handsome boy, tormenting eyes alight with fearlessness. Little boy made a snatch at the ripped book, but the bully whipped it back, using his other hand to rip through the buttons on little boy's shirt. Four buttons broke and his shirt slipped. Little boy looked at the girl, his eyes burning with tears.
She stared at him with falling eyes and his light brown hair slipped over his face. Little boy bit his lip and turned back to the bully. But he hesitated: it was hopeless, what could he do?
Handsome boy smiled again and opened the shabby book, "I'll read some, then."
"No!" Little boy jumped forward, but handsome was too quick: he whirled and slammed the puppy to the ground, shirt falling open, buttons scattering. Little boy's eyes were glowing with rage, a glistening golden green again. He swung his head around, hair dancing, looking for help.
"Submit," the tone was still calm but his dragon eyes, oh his dragon eyes.
"No," he would not let himself, not with the girl watching.
"No," he tried to ignore his voice cracking under the strain, feeling rage blaze in his snarling heart.
Handsome boy looked at his prey and glared with eyes that spat fire. "Very well then." And with the growling kitten struggling under his iron grip, little boy muscles straining under bare skin, he read:
"I'm waiting for the day,
When I'll be tall enough
To face myself in the mirror
And see a man.
I'm waiting for the day,
When I'll be strong enough
To see my biceps when I flex through my shirt.
Maybe then I'll be able to take on the world
Because I'm still waiting for the day,
When my foolish heart will give me love,
And love will be
Something other than confusion.
I'm waiting to be tall enough
To look you in your falling eyes
And see a chance.
And I am still waiting to be strong enough,
To knock you over.
Maybe then you'll fall for me."
Handsome boy had dragon teeth, he laughed derisively and looked down at his victim with glowing eyes that sang of triumph. Little boy wasn't looking, his eyes were tightly closed and his hands were clenched in fists of rage. Handsome looked at the girl briefly, and then said softly, "I'll read some more if you want." His tongue danced around his mouth like a snake.
Little boy didn't open his eyes, afraid of the ocean that might leak out. "Don't," he whispered.
The grin on handsome boy's face matched his tone of voice as he said, a bit louder, "So you submit?"
Little boy opened one glittering golden eye and looked at him angrily. "No."
His handsome eyes glinted back dangerously. "Last chance," he stated.
"Go to hell!"
Little boy didn't see the fist coming. Dragons are unpredictable, especially the handsome ones. At first the puppy didn't register the pain; his first thought was how to explain the bruises to his mother.
Autumn eyes glittered as the girl watched painfully, growing colder and colder. This was her fault, she knew. Dragon boy had handsome teeth, and he could rip little boys to pieces.
Little boy couldn't fight back, he was helpless, oh so helpless.
Slam dragon claws scratched against little boy skin.
Slam he could feel blood in his mouth; it was hot and he didn't like the taste.
Slam things were getting dark and he couldn't feel much anymore.
A cold, lyrical voice slashed through the harsh breathing and heavy thuds of violence. "Stop." The girl was on her feet, and her autumn eyes shone with ice, like stars frozen in time or little leaves frozen on the ground. Beautiful, beautiful girl. Handsome boy hesitated and looked at her in shock.
"I said stop."
Handsome boy stood up, something shifted in his eyes and he smiled with dragon fangs. She didn't trust his shimmering teeth. "Of course," he replied, "anything for you." He looked back at the bleeding puppy and spat on his bare skin before leaving with the journal in his hand, like a dragon breaking his prey before flying away. She stepped in front of him, and he glared at her, shocked, and his throat ached with fire. The frost melted and her eyes flared with colour as she grabbed the ripped journal out of his dragon claws.
Little boy lay on the ground, dazed and broken, shirt ripped apart with buttons scattered around him. He stared up into the girl's eyes, full of shame and gratitude. He couldn't fight off the dragon himself, and now she knew how weak he was.
Little, weak boy, her glistening eyes ask, what did it take to break you?
The girl gazed back at him, so small and tragic, blood trickling on his cheek. It felt like there was blood, no, it was tears on her cheek, and she knew: this is what she was meant to protect.
And if little boy didn't know better, he would have thought he saw a glimmer of admiration in her autumn eyes. A glimmer of hope reflected in his.
But he didn't know that. Because he didn't know love.