Chapter 15:

Tensions Rise

Annika Says No!

"Damn it, why does that professor have to be so damn hot?!"

Max chattered his teeth as he grasped onto the blonde strands of his hair. His knees quivered back and forth, constantly shifting his hips into various positions.

His obvious struggle appeared contagious to me, as even I had started to feel the tensions rise up in my pants.

"C-Cut it out, Max!" I said. "You're making me think about it as well!"

"I-I can't! I haven't blown my load for over seven days now, how can you expect me to stay calm?!"

As Max stated, it had been a week since Annika commenced the Anti-Addiction Protocols. Since then, we had to survive for seven days without alcohol, smoking, sex, violence and porn.

It's been a nightmare, to be frank, but Annika was always present to support us and kept us on the right track. If it weren't for her, we probably would have failed the first three days.

Unfortunately for today, Annika had been struck with a fever. Which meant that it was up to the two of us to watch over each other. She called it the buddy system.

"Is anything the matter?" Professor Juni asked from the classroom stage.

"N-No." Max trembled with watery eyes.

"Nah, you just look awfully beautiful today," I blurted out.

Idiot! Why can't I control my playboy tendencies?!

Professor Juni smiled and moved her hand to her chest. I looked away from her body to keep myself from going insane like Max was.

"My, my, thank you, Mr. Kalor. I appreciate the compliment, but you should care more about your eyebags instead of my appearance, boy."

The class' laughter echoed throughout the room.


It's not my fault I haven't been getting enough sleep recently. The bitter taste of alcohol, the ashy scents of tobacco and the touch of a lady's bare skin plagued my mind day and night, refusing to let me fall into a deep slumber. The voices in my head told me that if I could experience them one more time, then I could finally rest in peace.

"If you ever feel like any of you need any help, don't hesitate to talk to me. I'm willing to lend you my ears. After all, I care about all my students." The brunette professor winked her jade eye towards me.

My mouth opened up a little, but didn't make a single sound.

I wasn't expecting her to say something like that out of the blue. That sentence. It was definitely directed towards me.

"Alright, class dismissed." She clapped her hands.

Maybe I should ask for her help…

A light tap poked my shoulder. I looked over to see that it came from Frey. He fixed the beanie on his crimson red hair and began to speak.

"Kwan. Can we talk? Just the two of us."

The boy was someone who didn't bother to reach out to anyone most of the time, but when he did, it was usually important. I wouldn't allow a rare occurrence such as this to pass by.

"All right. Let's go."

Frey nodded and urged me to follow him.

"Hey! Why are you leaving me behind?!" Max grabbed my shoulder. "I can't survive without you!"

"What, you want me to cuddle with you or something?" I said. "You're a grown man, Max. I'm sure you can handle it just fine. After all, we've already lasted seven days. We can't expect to be babied by Annika all the time."

"Hmph!" Max crossed his arms. "Fine, then! I can handle it all by myself! I'll make Boss proud of me, then I'll confess my love to her!"

My muscles tensed up, but I took a deep breath and scoffed. "Go ahead and try."

Annika said no to violence, so I'll let it slide. Besides, it's not like I have any right to choose who she dates. In fact, Max would be an amazing partner if he got rid of his vices once and for all.

Max's a rich kid, but he isn't a spoiled brat. He's a generous man who loved to give to those in need and always tried to be a ray of sunshine to those around him. He may act like an reckless idiot sometimes, but he's usually just trying to help. Not to mention, his family doesn't hold some sort of grudge against Annika's.

Unlike me. Maybe it's best if I just let her go….

"Kwan." Frey tugged on my shoulder.

"Ah. Sorry. Let's go."

I waved my hand towards Max. "Adios, alligator."

After leaving the classroom, Frey and I walked through the campus grounds. We passed through buildings with bricks for walls and glass windows, a big pond brimming with colorful koi fish, some stalls selling snacks and grassy fields with some hot girls lying around.

I resisted the urge to talk to any of them, but I couldn't stop myself from charming the ladies from a distance.

Eventually, I noticed that I had encountered less and less people over time. It appeared that Frey had brought me to a peaceful and quiet place, away from everyone. And creepy.

What stood before me was an abandoned building completely overgrown with plant life. The walls had long since lost their color, with gaping holes scattered on the windows and grafitti painted on the bricks. Parts of the roof had already collapsed to the ground and some visible cracks had started to form.

"This place should be good enough," Frey said as he sat on an old broken-down wooden bench. I sat next to him and gave off a sigh.

"Phew, I almost thought we were going inside. This place is giving me the creeps. Are you planning to murder me or something?"

Frey chuckled. "As if I could kill someone as strong as you."

"You could have brought a weapon. That would have increased the odds."

"I'm not into those sorts of things anymore," Frey said. "But I do have something better for you."

He motioned his hand over to his pocket and pulled out a familiar looking metallic object in front of me. Frey flicked the object open and lit up a small fire with a clicking sound.

“What are you planning to do with that lighter-”

A sudden realization struck my chest.


He let out a grin, and revealed the second object in his other pocket. The sight of it forced a heavy wave of pressure over my chest, squeezing the insides of my lungs. My breathing had suddenly grown ragged, and I found myself gasping desperately for air.

A box.

Not just any ordinary box. The no-no box.

Frey opened the box, picking up the accursed stick with his bare hands. I swallowed a load of saliva as I gazed at its features. A white narrow paper cylinder, with an orange part at the end of it. He stuck it into his mouth and moved the lighter over to the tip of the cylinder, torching it with its tiny flame. Frey took the fumes into his mouth, and let out a puff of smoke.

I jumped away from the bench and covered my nose and mouth, taking care to avoid the forbidden toxic gas.

“What is the meaning of this, Frey?!”

“I heard from Max that you both decided to quit smoking.”

“Yeah, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t do that in front of me.” I glared at him.

Frey leaned his eyes over to me and sighed.

“That sounds unfair coming from you,” he said and crossed his legs.

“After all, you were the one who got me into it in the first place.”

F.C Fondness