"Wow, you sure know how to impress someone." I grinned at him, but he looked slightly quizzically back at me.
"Impress you, how?" We were sat up in a tree, I know, a huge old oak that sat down the hill from his house. I'd stared at him when he'd beckoned me up, but he'd rolled his eyes and offered me his hand, pulling me up with him. The view was amazing, we climbed onto a huge, thick branch, easily large enough to lie across and support the ice cream and drinks. The tree overlooked the river, flowing down into the trees farther off. The sun was setting, pink and purple and orange, and I couldn't help but feel that this was what romantic movies looked like.
"You know, the motorbike, the unexpected interior design, the endless supply of ice cream, and now a perfectly timed sunset. Did you plan all this or what?"
He laughed and leant back against the tree, "It's your birthday in two days time, I should do something for you. And, well, perhaps it's not planned, perhaps it's just my charms rubbing off on you."
I laughed with him, although a small part of me murmured that he may well be right. I wasn't sure if it was the alcohol in the drinks, but I suddenly felt warm and fuzzy, like I'd known him forever. "What's your Okan?" I suddenly asked, and saw him stiffen. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude, it's just, I realised you never told me."
"No it's all right." He said, although something in his voice had changed. I waited for him to answer, but he said nothing. We sat in silence for a long time, the sun sank behind the hills, and I glanced at my phone.
"I've gotta go, my mum's going to start wondering where I am." I began to slide down from the tree.
"I'll drop you back," Jax said, more animation in his voice than before. I slipped out the tree, and proudly managed not to land on my back, but my heart sank when I saw Jax step gracefully off the high branch we'd been sitting on, and land in a perfect crouch at my feet, hardly a sound made. How come he got to be good at everything? "My lady?" He said, offering me his arm in a mock gesture, I rolled my eyes and took it, and together we walked back up towards the house. After a long minutes silence, Jax said suddenly "I don't have one."
"Don't have what?" I was caught up in my train of thought, taken off guard by his out of the blue comment.
"An Okan. You asked me what mine was, and I don't have one. I never changed."
I stopped walking for a moment. "You never changed?" It was hard to keep the shock out of my voice.
"Nope, never" he seemed to be avoiding my gaze, as we carried on walking.
"Do you know why? Why you?" I said, I didn't tell him, but I was thinking of myself, how I hadn't changed so close to my sixteenth birthday.
His face clouded slightly, like he was debating weather or not to say something. "No, it just... never happened, and I've been this way ever since." His tone was harsh, like he was cross with himself.
"Been what way?"
"The way I am." His face and tone was guarded, and I decided not to push him with more questions. We'd reached the motorbike, and my stomach squeezed a little at the thought of riding it again. I pulled on Jax's helmet, and wrapped my arms around his waist. He kicked the bike into life, and we sped off into the night. Whilst we were riding, I was very aware of how close our bodies were, my hands on his toned stomach. Suddenly my insides jerked, as if someone was tugging them on strings, I winced. "Are you alright?" Jax called back to me, the wind whipping his dark hair around his face.
"Fine." I called back, although my voice cracked slightly at the end. He gave me a concerned look, before turning back to the road. He pulled up on the curb next to my house, and helped me off with my helmet. We stood there for a moment.
"Well, thanks, I really enjoyed myself" I smiled, almost shyly.
"You say that like the fact surprises you, of course you enjoyed yourself, you were with me." He grinned again, and I couldn't help grinning back, although he was being arrogant. He reached out suddenly, and brushed a strand of hair back from my face, so lightly I barely even felt his touch. He drew his hand back suddenly, an odd look on his face. He opened his mouth to say something, then shut it. "Goodnight Aria." He said finally, and before I could have a chance to reply, he revved the engine and zoomed off into the darkness.