I stood in front of the mirror, trying to tame my stupid messy hair. I didn’t expect to be this nervous on the night of Graduate’s Ball. I mean, all I was gonna do was take Riley Jones, the most annoying know-it-all, to a ball to try and extract information from her. Why was my goddamned heart thudding so much?
“Hey Ryan, you have any gel left? My hair’s going everywhere!” I yelled out to my roommate.
“Since when did you care about your hair, Jackson Barker?” he said, lounging against the bathroom’s doorframe, “Are you not telling me something?”
“Oh, mind your own business, Ryan Brandt! Give me the gel!”
“There’s none left,” he said, and then winked at me, “Are you taking someone to the Ball?”
I dragged the comb through my hair in the last attempt to make it slightly presentable. Straightening up my tie, I pushed past Ryan out into the dorm.
“Who is it Jackson?” bloody Ryan followed me as I pulled on my shoes.
“No one,” I replied airily, “Just taking Riley Jones.”
I picked up the corsage of white roses off the table and walked out of the dorm before Ryan could react to this piece of news. Making my way up to the second floor where I was meant to pick Riley up, my heart was drumming so loud that I swear everyone in the whole building could hear. Geez, get your act together Jackson. It’s only a Ball, and you’re only going with Riley Jones.
I was early. There was no sight of Riley anywhere on the second floor, so I decided to seat myself down on one of the couches that lined the Jones’ living quarters. Finally one of the doors cracked opened, and out walked Mr Jones.
“Are you Jackson Barker? Riley should be out in a few minutes. Tell me, how are you enjoying World Domination so far?” he asked me.
It was a very awkward couple of minutes, with both of us trying to make small talk. Damn it Riley, why are you taking so long?
“Jackson? Shall we go?” said the voice of Riley Jones.
I turned to look at her. My god, she was beautiful. That ruffled black gown, the glistening tiara on top of her curling blonde locks, the rope of pearls around her delicate throat. I was seized with a sudden desire to kiss her. GET A GRIP, JACKSON! SHE’S YOUR SPY TARGET, NOT YOUR GIRLFRIEND!
“Bye Daddy! I’ll see you at the Ball later,” Riley kissed her father’s cheek and grabbed my arm. I turned around to nod a goodbye at Mr Jones, and then we both left for the Grand Hall.
“You look ... pretty,” I said. What I meant was “You look beautiful”.
“Thanks. You look nice too.”
I blushed. Great. I can’t believe I’m falling for her.
“I have your corsage,” I said, and she held out her wrist. I fumbled around with the corsage of white roses, and finally managed to tied it on. By then, we were already at the Great Hall.