"Hello Jules. How are you doing on this lovely evening?"
Jules had been focusing so hard on not freaking out that he freaked out again when another person came out of nowhere and sat beside him. Luckily, this time it was Val, who he at least knew. ”Hey!” He forced out alongside a smile. “What’s up, boo? What’s with the face? Finally made up with lover-boy?” Jules looked around the campfire to see if he could spot the spoiled prince, which he did next to Emi and Kim, with Emi acting the wrong kind of bubbly and practically draping herself all over Kim. Jules’ anxiety intensified just an eensy, teensy, tiny~ bit more inside his heart.
Valeria scoffed, immediately shaking her head. "Not a chance," she said dryly, purposely avoiding to look at AJ and the way he was being so friendly with Emilia. There was no time to waste on any more petty arguments when the clock was ticking. "I'm not here to discuss my problems with J. What I am here for, is to as for the teeniest, tiniest favor that you could ever do for me, my sweet Julius Baek."
He swiveled his head back toward Val since she was immediately there and he didn’t want to deal with another train-wreck-in-the-making. It helped that Val was asking him for a favor, which made him slip back into an old, hungry and completely innocent devilish grin. “You, asking me for a favor? You sure you ready to sign that contract hun?”
The short girl let out a laugh. She was sure that whatever Jules asked as payment for his services would be worth the night of passion spent with Nate (if it even happened, of course, but Val wanted to be positive for the first time in her pathetic little life). "Hell yeah I am! Since when have I backed out of a challenge?" she teased, gently poking him on the ribs.
Jules recoiled back, a small hyena-like yelp bubbling out, though it didn’t fail to wipe the grin from his face. She knew how ticklish he was. He grabbed her finger in retaliation and leaned closer towards her face, his other hand low and ready to deflect whatever nasty assault she might have tried next. ”Signed and sealed, filed and saved. Whaddya need from li’l young me?”
Okay, here was the moment of truth. "I need-" the brunette started to say, pausing for a second to take a deep breath and mumble in the lowest, most discreet voice she could muster. "-some condoms"
There was a long pause as Jules processed what she had asked for. ”Condoms?” His voice, in comparison, a flat, normal, conversational level.
Val's eyes went wide with panic, cheeks blazing scarlett. Impulsively, she placed a hand over Jules' mouth. "Shhhhhh! Keep it down, will you?!" she hissed in his ear, looking around to see if anybody else had overheard him. "Yes, condoms! I need some goddamn condoms!"
Jules couldn’t help but snerk, taking her hand off his face. Between all his own experience and having reconnected with Yessi again, he forgot sometimes how innocent his other friends could be. It was nice, like seeing a baby deer just standing on its own legs for the first time. He quickly dug out a small 4-pack string of condoms he kept in his back pocket, an old habit he still held, and hid them in his palm. Bringing his hands up to his mouth, he crossed them over and placed the edge of the first condom between his lips, revealing them with a flourish as they dropped from his mouth. He then let them plop back into his palm and offered them to his very flustered friend. ”There you go, Bambi: ask and ye shall receive.”
Like it was going to be that easy.
Before Val could do more than reach out her hand to take them, he easily danced them out of her reach and closer towards his chest, the grin still playing at the edges of his expression. ”But first, I’m calling in that favor right now. Who is it?”
"Seriously?!" Val whined, trying to discreetly pry the condoms from him but failing to do so. Eventually, she gave up, cursing under her breath. She should have known Jules would want to find out every single detail about her possible plans for the night.
”Seriously, or I’ll let you curse yourself with making your own tiny little devil tonight,” playfully batting away her handsy attempts. As long as there was tea to be spilled, there was no way he’d ever let them go.
Ever the persistent little shit, Valeria made one last, hard try to get the condoms, but eventually gave up again with a frustrated sigh. "Fine, you dipshit. I'll fucking tell you-" she began, trying to keep her answer short and sweet but hearing the words spill out of her mouth in a fast, uncontrollable stream.
"Nate and I went out to the cliff to take some pictures, right? And while we're talking about random shit, he asks me where I'm spending the night. Me, like the dumbass I am, forgot to find a spot, so he offers me to take the bed in his cabin and he'll take the couch. So for some goddamn reason I'm still trying to understand, I fucking kiss the guy- out of fucking nowhere, I might add- and he pulls away and just stares at me like I've been possessed by an alien life-form. So I basically tell him about how I've wanted him to push me against a wall and fucking bang me for years now, and this little shit has the nerve to question me- all because I've called him a pussy a few times. So I make up some dumb excuse on the spot saying how the kiss was my way of apologizing- and you know what this fucker does?! He gives me that cheeky ass smile and tells me I'd better make up my mind about crashing in his room or not soon because he's going to sleep… And that maybe I could 'apologize some more' over there. So the way I see it, if I play my cards right, I might get laid tonight. Hence why I need the precious gifts you're currently keeping from me."
With a mouth running off faster than any of the Gearheads’ rides on a flat, open stretch of road, it took a little bit of time for Jules to properly decipher what Val had said, but when he did, all he could say was ”Oh my god.”
Then another “Oh,” interrupted by a small titter. “My.” A breathy chuckle. “ Go~d,” this time a full-on cackle, an evil laugh full of surprise, incredulity, and pure, utter delight. "Jesus Christ, you two just kissed and you already wanna bang? I mean, I know I move fast, but I didn’t expect you to be like that too. And what’d he say? He’d let you ‘apologize some more?’ You know,” he breathed in between giggling fits while Val glared daggers at him, "me and Nate haven’t gone on a little photog sesh in a while, you think he’ll let me ‘apologize’ to him like that too?”
"Shut up! Don’t fucking judge me, okay!" Valeria spat, her chubby-cheeked face red-hot and clearly mortified about this whole thing. If she’d known getting the damn condoms from Jules would be such a hassle, she would have taken her chances breaking into AJ’s car and stealing the ones he kept in his glove compartment. It certainly would have saved her some embarrassment. "I told you everything, now can I please have what you're holding?"
”Sorry, princess: you’ll have to tell me what you want again. I seem to have spontaneously forgot what with my gut trying to kill me and all!”
"I. Need. Those. Condoms." Val growled, giving Jules a look that could kill if glares had that power.
Unfazed, he had his last giggle and handed over the much sought after condoms. "And in case our poor little boy doesn’t know how to put them on, just give me a call and I’ll be more than happy to help the two of you out,” he said, giving her a wink. "That favor can be given free of charge. Aren’t I so nice?”
"Screw you!"Val said through gritted teeth, snatching the condoms from Jules' hands. Even though this was on her top five most humiliating moments of her life, the brunette was still thankful for the assistance of one of her best friends. So before she left, Val gave Jules a quick hug and begrudgingly kissed his cheek. "Wish me luck, JuJu. I'm going in for the kill." Now armed for whatever possibly the future might hold, the pint-sized girl stood up straight and made her way back to where Nate stood waiting for her.
As she watched the stupidly handsome dude get closer and closer, Val could only silently pray he hadn't seen the exchange between her and Julius, or what it was that she'd shoved in the back pocket of her shorts. "Alright, Nate: I'm ready to go now. Should we say goodbye before we head to the cabin?" she asked the sandy-haired boy as soon as she was within earshot. She was hoping he said no.