"Leave me alone," I hissed as Jeffrey Carlson trailed me around the bookshelves. For goodness' sake, this was a library! Hardly the place to declare your undying love for someone.
"But we could be so good together, Alice," he said. "You're so beautiful... I'd always treat you right, you know."
"Go away. I'm not interested."
"You never know until you try."
Ugh, he sounded so pathetic. So needy.
Suddenly, I saw a way out of my situation. At one of the tables sat a boy with dark brown hair and eyes of a gorgeous shade of brown poring over a thick leather-bound tome. It wasn't his looks I was interested in, though.
I hurried over and whispered in his ear "Can you just play along for two seconds? Please."
The boy looked startled. I didn't give him a chance to respond, sitting beside him and giving him a hug.
"Hi," I said, loudly enough for Jeffrey to hear me.
The boy sat motionless as I let go of him. He stared at me as if I was an alien.
Jeffrey slunk off, looking disappointed.
"Sorry," I said. "He wouldn't leave me alone."
The boy didn't say anything. He looked back down at his book as if he wanted to forget this had ever happened.
I noticed a cool drawing in the book. It was of a dragon.
"Wow, are you into mythology?" I asked.
The boy looked up. "Um, I guess," he said. He still looked as if he thought I was weird.
"Me too," I said. "I love the thought of fairies and griffins and ... salamanders."
"Salamanders," the boy repeated, the look that suggested I was odd back in his eyes.
"Well, you know what I mean. Anything that would be considered weird in today's world. ... Phoenixes."
The boy nodded. Then returned to reading his book.
"So which legends are you reading at the moment? Chinese dragons? The Welsh Dragons?"
The boy looked up. He looked slightly annoyed. "No, actually. All of those dragons are legends created on Earth. I'm reading about dragons from another world."
"Wow... What's your name?"
The boy looked exasperated. "Declan."