Twenty One Days Of AP Economics
by alejandra

Of all the stupid things that make Summer's life difficult, Harbor's schedule changing is at the top of her list. For today anyway.

Every Christmas break, everyone's schedule is switched around by the idiots in administration, which means that the first day back, Summer has to spend most of her time finding out what everyone else's schedule is, and doing her best to stay out of their classes.

It's no one else's business that Summer is smart and in a bunch of advanced placement classes. Plus, boys don't like smart girls. If Summer is ever going to get married to a rich man and spend her life getting pedicures and buying jewelry, she is going to need to be stupid. And chances are good that she's going to have to marry some idiot from Harbor, unless she takes a few years off to go to Europe and meet rich, landed royalty. If she ever needed proof of that, Zach practically on his knees begging her to stay stupid once he saw her with those news magazines was it.

Way to not notice the subscription info on any of them -- lifetime subscriptions to Newsweek, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal had been her thirteenth birthday gift from her father. Despite his taste in his second wife, her father likes smart women, thank you.

Of course, even Coop thinks she's an idiot -- so much news, however does one keep up with it all? Whatever. Ugh.

It's always a struggle to get the idiots to change her schedule so that she's not in any AP classes with anyone else. After the second semester, she gave up on trying to get out of all the AP classes in general. No one bothered to ask her if she wanted to do more work, more labs, have harder homework. For the record, being in lots of AP classes sucks.

By third period, Summer has already changed her schedule three times: once to switch out of Seth's AP Lit class, once to switch out of Zach's AP European History class, and once to switch into the same PE as Marissa. When she gets to her fourth period AP Econ class -- take that, Zach -- and sees the back of Ryan's head in the middle of the classroom, she groans. There is no way she can change her schedule again, especially because she still has to get through AP Chem, and if there's a water polo player in that class, she'll need to switch out.

Besides, it's not like Ryan even counts.

She plops down next to him, just to challenge herself.

"Hey," she says.

"Hey," he replies automatically, and she is extremely satisfied when he looks at her, looks back at his notebook, and then looks at her again. "Summer?"

"Yeah, were you expecting the tooth fairy?" She rolls her eyes and opens her notebook and does her best to not smirk.

Ryan studies her for a moment -- she can feel his eyes on her -- but she ignores him and flips through pages of last semester's notes on Iraq and Iran.

"Come on, Summer," he finally says. "Even Marissa knows you can't tell Kashmir from angora."

"Um, whatever, Chino -- like either of us always tells Coop the truth?" Summer meets his gaze and raises her eyebrows at him.

He concedes the point with a nod. "Okay," he says, and turns back to his own notebook. As Summer looks away, she accidentally focuses on his mouth, which doesn't look like it's getting any play from the foster half-aunt at all. She feels badly for him, briefly, because if anyone needs to get laid, it's Ryan.

She does too, not just for revenge on Seth and his punk rock girlfriend, but for herself. If the mediocre sex she had been having with Cohen had made her feel good and vibrate and glowy, then really excellent sex must be like doing yogalates and then drinking a margarita and then getting a massage. Or something. Whatever it is, she wants it. Her blood itches.

Summer and Ryan don't speak again during class, which is definitely a relief to Summer's mind. She doesn't need to be lusting after Chino; her life is complicated enough. And anyway, class means that she has to use her brain more than usual, and that's really irritating, because she could be using this time to do something productive, like decide which new pair of shoes to buy when she needs a distraction from thinking about sex later on in the day, after school is over.

 

The next day, Summer sits next to Ryan again, mostly because his fluster on the first day continued to amuse her until supper with her father and the step-monster, and then a weird voicemail from Coop. Yeah, that's what Summer needs: a lush for a best friend. It's weird to think about, because it's not like Summer doesn't enjoy the jello shots and the margaritas and the vodka gimlets -- but she doesn't crave them like Coop does, maybe that's the difference. Coop can hardly function if she's not soused, or, at least, that's the vibe Summer gets.

Coop vibes at a very low, depressing frequency that Summer wants to stay away from, and even though that makes her feel like a bad friend, she almost doesn't care.

Ryan doesn't get flustered again, though, and Summer is disappointed until Ryan turns to her and says, "So is this an economics class or a current events in the Republican party class?" and Summer giggles under her breath, because Mr. Ondor definitely doesn't take any pains to hide his political affiliations.

 

Day three of sitting next to Ryan, and Summer is noticing his smell. She spent the previous night writhing around on her bed, trying to get off, but nothing worked, not even her old standby of doing Luke and Marissa at the same time, because that's kind of nauseating now, considering everything that's happened in the last year. She fell asleep with her hands between her legs, crying and panting, exhausted and frustrated.

She is still exhausted and frustrated, and totally sensitized to everything. She's made a deal with herself: if she sees Zach today, she's just going to pull him into an empty classroom or the girls' locker room or something and suck him off, or make him go down on her, or something, just to end this dry spell -- nine months already, going on ten, since she's had sex, and it's getting ridiculous.

Summer doesn't want to be sex crazy; she wants to be satisfied. And that means ignoring Ryan's smell, because he is not an option.

He doesn't smell like Seth. He smells kind of like Mr. Cohen, Seth's dad. Maybe they use the same aftershave or deodorant. It isn't creepy, although Summer thinks maybe it should be. But it's just... kind of hot, like Ryan is an adult or something. Summer's never fucked an adult -- she's only fucked Seth. She let Luke go down on her once, and it was gross -- he was slimy and used his teeth too much -- and she's made out with a bunch of girls at parties, but always just to make the guys want them. Guys are so easy. Their brains click one, two, three, girlsex! and they get off.

Summer is harder, more complicated, more complex, full of layers. Or something, anyway.

She wonders if Ryan notices that last year she and Marissa wore the same perfume, but this year Marissa is wearing Bvlgari and Summer is wearing Vera Wang. Mature, sultry, and a little sexier: exactly how Summer feels.

 

Day eleven. Monday. Summer hates Mondays, but not as much as she hates Thursdays. Thursdays drag on forever, taunting her with the fact that once they are over, they will be Fridays -- but until then, they are Thursdays, and there's nothing to look forward to. At least with Wednesday you know it's the middle of the week -- and with Tuesday, at least it's not Monday.

Summer hates Mondays. Her skin is oily from exposure to cigarette smoke; she drank too much over the weekend -- and she still didn't manage to keep the pace with Marissa. Marissa talked about Seth's new girlfriend Alex and how she's a lesbian -- whatever -- and about how much she hates Caleb.

Like Summer cares. How come they can't talk about Summer's itchy, burning blood? How come they can't talk about why Summer can't get any guy at Harbor to look at her? Cohen totally brought her social stock down, and now no one wants to be seen with her.

Except Ryan, who sits down next to her, bumps her shoulder with his instead of saying hello, and lets her copy his notes after class when she realizes that she hadn't paid attention to the lecture at all. That's appropriate, because it's his fault anyway; his leg had been pressing against her leg. She's wearing a long skirt -- all the way down to her knees! -- and he's wearing jeans and she can still feel the heat of his leg against her.

She chalks it up to not having made out with anyone since the night of Cohens' anniversary party, and buys herself a new pair of Manolos to make herself feel better. It doesn't work, but she can pretend.

 

Day fifteen. Friday. The week is finally fucking over. Summer is so ready for the weekend to start. She's been dodging Zach, who has finally realized that something is up, dodging Coop because she doesn't want to get roped into drinking with her and her new best friend Alex this weekend, dodging Seth because she never ever ever wants to talk to him. Now she's exhausted, fucking wrung out, and the day isn't even over yet.

At least it's Friday. She is totally ready to spend two days eating guacamole and watching television and not talking to anyone. Maybe she'll take some of the guac and slather it on her face and make her pores happy. Maybe she'll read some romance novels and watch some late night Cinemax and try to get the fuck off already. If she doesn't get some sex soon, she's going to go crazy. But what's she supposed to do -- go to a club and pick up a stranger who's never been to Newport Beach and fuck him senseless?

That doesn't sound very appealing to Summer. She doesn't imagine that it would sound appealing to anyone.

"Hey," says Ryan. He throws his bag down on the table and slides into his chair. "Has this week sucked or what?"

She looks over at him, surprised. Ryan has just started a conversation -- Ryan who never (well, rarely) speaks has just started a conversation.

"Um, yeah," she says. "This week has definitely been the suck."

"You wanna..." Ryan trails off and opens his notebook.

"I wanna..." Summer raises her eyebrows, but Ryan isn't looking at her.

"Listen," he finally says. He closes his notebook and turns toward her. It's kind of intense. Summer leans toward him, meets him halfway. "Yours is the first friendly face I have seen since yesterday." And that's saying a lot, Summer knows, because her face is generally anything but friendly. "You wanna go get a coffee or something?"

Ah, Ryan knows her weak spots.

"Now?" she replies, but she already knows she's going to leave class with him, maybe even cut the whole day. Her eyes flick up to the front; Ondor is writing on the board and has been since before Summer came into the classroom. He'd never notice if they leave.

"Yes," says Ryan. His eyes don't move off hers; it's almost creepy, but Summer is going to stick with "intense".

"Yes," she says, and picks up her books and purse and dashes to the door. There are a few giggles when Ryan follows her, but they're out before Ondor can turn around. A girl in the last row -- a sophomore, judging by the textbooks on her desk -- shoots them a death glare as the door closes behind them, but she's wearing drugstore eyeliner, so Summer can't take her seriously.

"You know, once in the third grade, Coop and I jumped a fifth grader and beat her up for saying mean things about Coop's dad." Summer leans against Seth's locker while Ryan rummages through his, pulls out his jacket and his bag. Summer looks at the jacket, then looks at him.

"Come on," says Ryan. "Don't tell me you're not dying for this week to be over."

"Problems with the foster half-aunt girlfriend?" asks Summer sweetly. She can't help it; she's a bitch. Life must move on in the face of adversity and all that.

"Maybe," says Ryan.

"We'll have to stop at my locker too." Summer pauses, then adds, "And we're taking my car."

Ryan nods, follows her down the hall. They have a close call with Seth and Zach, who are arguing about their comic book -- Summer has to say, Seth's pictures of her are definitely awesome. If that's the way he sees her, no wonder he's still in love with her. And how can she resist hero worship like that? But Seth is no good for her, not in any way.

She pulls out all her books, drops them into her tote, slings it over her shoulder, and grabs her sweater.

"Your locker is really clean," says Ryan, looking over her shoulder, hovering over her, making her skin crawl with his nearness.

"A messy locker is the sign of a disorganized mind," says Summer pertly. "Are you ready?"

"Yeah," says Ryan, and he's smiling, and some of that horrible tiredness, last seen during the whole Oliver debacle last year, is gone from his eyes. Summer is perversely proud of herself.

"Okay, let's go," she says, and leads the way to her car.

She isn't sure exactly why she's ditching school to hang out with Chino, but maybe she'll get to live that short-lived dream from almost two years ago of making out with him, and maybe it'll get the itch out from under her skin, and he'll feel so guilty about it that no one will have to know.

And if nothing else, they can lay around his poolhouse and listen to Journey.

"You drive a Prius?" says Ryan, and laughs.

"SUVs are bad for the environment," says Summer, shrugging. She turns the car on, points it toward the Cohens'. "And besides... it's cute."

"Uh-huh," says Ryan, and then he's silent until they reach the poolhouse. "Just a warning," he says as they get out of her car. "I know I have milk and I know I have coffee, but I don't think there's any sugar, and there's no way to foam the milk."

"Please," says Summer. "Don't you have a whisk?"

"A what?"

"A whisk." Summer rolls her eyes. "Don't worry about it."

The poolhouse is tidy, especially for a place where a teenage boy lives. No underwear on the floor of the bathroom and no condoms in the bedside drawer. She knows. She checks. Ryan goes into the little kitchen area and digs around until he finds a jar of Folger's in a cabinet. Such blasphemy -- bad coffee and left out for the moisture in the air to attack?

Summer watches Ryan look ruefully at the empty milk container and makes up her mind. Definitely making out. Definitely a sneak attack. Definitely now. She needs some mouth-to-mouth action, she needs something, some new thought to think about tonight in her bed, without anyone else there.

She kicks off her shoes and walks into the kitchen area, pushes Ryan against the wall. He has a death grip on the coffee.

"What's up, Summer?" he says breathlessly. She moves against him, presses her mouth to his instead of answering. For a moment she thinks he's going to push her away, but instead he drops the coffee and slides his arms around her, and she has the thought that his arms are bigger than her fucking thighs before his tongue sweeps into her mouth and her head falls back. He catches her, doesn't let her buckling knees take her down. That's how boys do it -- girls get weaker and boys get stronger. That's not exactly fair, but Summer doesn't feel fair at the moment anyway. She knows she's in charge; she knows that Ryan will do what she wants him to, and nothing that she doesn't.

She lets him turn them around until she's against the wall, lets him hoist her up until her legs are wrapped around his waist, lets him push between her legs. She's so wet, she knows he must be able to feel it, even through his jeans, and she doesn't care, because, god, she's finally kissing someone again, even if that someone is just Ryan Atwood, resident bad boy.

 

Day sixteen. Monday. Summer hates Mondays. Fiery passion, blah blah blah. She's worried that Ryan will act weird when he comes into class -- she stayed at the poolhouse until school ended, making out with Ryan. They moved from the kitchen to the bed, and she pulled off his shirt so she could dig her nails into his resilient skin, and he didn't try to get into her underpants, although by the time they separated so she could leave before Seth got home, he'd worked a hand under her shirt, but over her bra.

A nice boy. A polite boy. How cute. And a bashful boy. He blushes when he sees her, sitting at their usual table, and walks a little too fast, sits down a little too quickly. Summer grins at him, then turns her attention to her notebook. He might be able to lift her with one arm, but she's got all the power here.

She doesn't have to tell him that she finally came last night, thinking of the way his jeans rasped against the insides of her thighs, thinking of how he bunched her skirt up around her waist and slid a finger under the elastic side of her thong, but didn't try to grab her ass.

 

Day nineteen. Summer hates Thursdays more than she hates Mondays, but she hates this Thursday in particular because Ryan isn't here to alleviate the tedium of class. She calls the Cohens when class is over, but no one answers. And the one time she wants to fucking see Seth, he's not around. Zach is, though.

"Where are you going?" he asks, falling into step with her. "Calculus, right?"

"No, lunch. Then calc." Summer falls into stupid. "God, I hate calc." It's so fucking easy she can do it in her sleep -- she can do anything, if she bothers to. Her PSAT scores last year were in the top percentile. He should know that; she beat everyone else in the fucking school.

"Yeah, me too. It's really hard." Zach smiles at her from under his floppy hair, and she knows what's coming next: he wants to eat lunch with her and talk about his stupid comic book and their relationship. But then his eyes light up when he sees someone down the hall -- she follows his gaze. It's Cohen. "Hey," he says, "I'll see you later," and then he leaves her standing there, staring after him, totally dumbfounded. Totally dumb. How did she not see that coming?

 

Day twenty. Marissa is a total freak who is going to totally kill Summer one of these days with her exploits. She actually had sex with another girl. Not that Summer is opposed to that sort of thing, but Marissa never does anything except to get back at her parents. Well, now. She didn't used to be like this, and Summer doesn't get what the fuck has changed, but everything has.

Her Friday is totally ruined now. From the tales of Marissa's exploits to the missing Ryan to Zach and Seth's sappy smiles, Summer's Friday is fucking ruined. She hates everyone, and she especially hates that Ryan isn't answering her phone calls.

She hates it so much that she runs out of class as soon as the bell rings, finds Seth and Zach, and sits with them at lunch, suffers through their stupid comic book talk until she can ask:

"Where's Ryan?"

"Sulking," says Seth around a bite of his sandwich. Which looks disgustingly like tuna salad -- what is he, three?

"Why?" says Summer, and Zach is the one who answers.

"Because Lindsay broke up with him. She said he had too much baggage, and every time he tried to help, he just made things worse."

Summer knew Zach was trying to be helpful, but it wasn't working, because how come Zach knew this shit and Summer didn't? Why hadn't Ryan called her to tell her?

Uh, says a little voice in her head, because you aren't best girlfriends? You're an idiot, Summer Roberts.

Fuck you, she replies.

"I thought Lindsay liked that he tried to help her?" Summer sucks on a carrot, running her tongue over the ridges and around the smooth, roundness.

"Chicks, man," says Zach, and Summer is kind of taken aback.

"Hey, I know!" says Seth. "One of the ray guns can be a translator, from man speak to woman speak!"

Summer knows exactly what to say to that, but instead of saying it, she stands up and walks away, taking her carrots and her peanut butter sandwich with her. Because she's annoyed, and also a little bit hurt, and that makes her feel like an idiot.

She plans to wait until Monday to yell at Ryan for not even calling her for the class notes, except she can't. She sits, squirming, through calc study hall and chem, and then goes to Ryan's poolhouse.

He's laying on the bed listening to -- she's expecting Journey, but it's Dido.

"Are you ten?" she demands, and he sits up. "Also, you need to learn to lock your door."

"Most people knock," says Ryan.

"Why do I not believe that? Oh, maybe because I know the Cohens?" Summer reaches behind herself and locks the door, then walks to the bed. "This music sucks."

"You don't have to listen, then."

Summer sits down on the bed, then sprawls out and puts her head on Ryan's thigh. Hello, subtext! Why is he not paying attention? What a fucking moron.

"Can you please stop sulking? I have way more problems than you, and I am still coming to class every day. Odder Ondor tried to pair me up with some idiot sophomore today wearing knockoff Chanel, but I made him switch it so that we're paired together." She stretches a little, and one of Ryan's hands rests on her hair. When people pet her hair, it gets oily, but that's okay, because she needs to be touched. Her head is buzzing -- she's had six lattes today, all of them big, and now she's either going to fall asleep or explode. Maybe both.

"Sorry that I'm not showing the proper sympathy for your... problems," says Ryan, but he's rubbing her head, so he doesn't mean it.

"Shut up," she orders, and closes her eyes, and stretches again, rubs her face against his jeans. "Have you even showered since Lindsay broke up with you? What does Mrs. Cohen say?"

"Kirsten said it was none of her business," says Ryan. He laughs a little.

"Well, now you can make out with me again and not feel guilty, okay?" says Summer.

"Uh, I don't know about that."

"Yeah, you're right, you should change the music first." She moves one of her hands until it's over Ryan's dick, which is totally hard. Score. "Come on. I need to get laid and I vote on you. You're clean, usually, and you know how to keep a secret, and you're hot, and I bet you're good in bed."

Ryan shakes his head, which is impressive considering she's stroking his dick through his jeans, and any other guy would be incoherent by now. Why Ryan isn't incoherent is actually a really good question, because he should be. She scowls at him.

"Summer..." he says, and then stops. Then starts again. "What about Seth? Marissa? This would never work."

"I don't want to fall in love and get married," she says, carefully avoiding mentions of babies. "I just want to make out and fool around and have some fun, because I am going crazy and this world sucks and nothing is getting better. Everyone is insane, have you noticed?"

"Yeah," says Ryan. "I've noticed."

"That's what I thought. So kiss me, and we can work out the details later." She snakes an arm up around his head and pulls him down to her, sits up a little, then a lot, lets him pull her onto his lap. She took off her underpants in her car, left them in the glove compartment. His fingers push under her skirt, and don't encounter any resistance, and he gasps into her mouth. She giggles, unzips his jeans, and pulls a condom from her bra.

"I only have two," she says against his lips. She wants to rub his stubble all over her body.

"That's okay," he replies. "I bought some -- after last time --"

She should be annoyed that he's so blasť about this, that he's so prepared, but she can't be, because he's got his fingers inside her and his tongue running over her teeth and he lets her put the condom on him and slide down onto him. He's big, but not too big, and she's turned on enough that he fits okay, and it doesn't hurt much, and he's touching something deep inside her that feels amazing, something Seth never touched, and she lets her head fall away from his mouth, fall back, and she pulls off her shirt, and he gnaws on her breasts through her bra.

 

Day twenty-one. Monday. Summer hates Mondays. She swings into the Econ classroom with a smile on her face. She knows that Odder Ondor is giving a pop quiz on how cold war affects the economic development of third world countries, but she doesn't care. She sits down next to Ryan, grins at him, and opens her notebook.

"How was your weekend?" he asks in a low, growly voice, and she rolls her eyes at him, punches him in the arm.

"Don't be annoying," she says in the same low tone, but then she giggles. Seth didn't catch them, Mrs. Cohen didn't walk in at a critical moment, and Summer got off. Four times. And that was just Friday.

Ryan smiles at her, and she smiles radiantly back, and Ondor tells them to close their notebooks because they're having a pop quiz, and it's Monday, which sucks, but it's not so bad. Not yet, anyway.

 

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