I jumped up before they could put their stuff together, went up the stairs and went swiftly to the trash can, the sink where I dumped my tray, and then on to the hall to my locker. I saw a smile on Louis’s face before I went out of the room, but it faltered when he saw how mad I was at him. I was surprised at myself. I even left before Connelly and his family did. I tore my stuff out of my locker and ran to my class before Connelly could come down the hall and see me.
I sat down in my chair and wrote down our assignments. I would be ashamed if Connelly saw me now. I couldn’t wait to see what he was like in gym. I hung my head. How could I be so stupid? Louis was no match for Connelly, I knew that. But then why was I so attracted to him? No, he was wrong. I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. I was all Connelly’s, now and forever. I can’t believe I let him get to me! And right after I had accepted Connelly as my official boyfriend! And Ivan’s acceptance of me into his family! I AM SO STUPID!!! I mentally slapped myself several times.
“Hey, Kota.” Louis came in the room and sat in the desk beside me. I looked at him for a minute, my mental self having a black eye and less teeth, and then turned away from him.
“I’m sorry if I embarrassed you at lunch.” Louis put a hand on my shoulder.
“I see you’re not sorry you even said it.” I shrugged him off.
“No, I meant what I said. I’m just sorry you got so embarrassed by it. I didn’t mean for it to happen like that.” Louis said and I looked at him.
“What did you think was going to happen? I was going to just belt out my hidden love for you and jump in your arms?” I said sarcastically.
“Basically.” he said. I looked at him and he didn’t laugh.
“You’re very forward aren’t you?” I said. My madness slipped away, as I realized that he really did care for me a lot. I felt sad for him, knowing that I liked him, letting me know that he liked me, but me getting with another guy. I bet it was heartbreaking.
“The truth will set you free.” Louis recited. My face softened and he smiled.
“I’m sorry.” he said again and I nodded.
“You’re funny.” I said.
“Thank you.” Louis smiled and I returned a shy one. Just then, Mira walked in. She hesitated when she saw Louis, flashing her eyes to me, but then recovered her slip by sitting in the very front. I looked at her and then at Louis, who was staring at her. It had happened again. She had looked at me, but it hadn’t looked mean. She had looked kind of nervous and curious. Hmm, no doubt because of Louis, but why look at me?
“Why did she do that when she saw you?” I asked.
“I have no idea.” Louis seemed just as stumped. The teacher walked in then and started handing out worksheets and telling us what page to go to in our math books.
“So, you forgive me for embarrassing you in there?” Louis whispered, looking at me.
“Yes.” I whispered back and he smiled. Then we turned our attention to the teacher.
“Oh Louis, you don’t have to do this again.” The teacher smiled caringly.
“Yes, ma’am.” he smiled. He leaned back in his chair and smiled at me when the teacher turned her back to us.
“Show off.” I smiled.
“I can give you mine if you want. I aced it.” he teased.
“No thank you. I earn my good grades.” I shook my head. He laughed silently and leaned on one arm and watched me.
“What are you doing?” I whispered.
“I’m watching you do your work.” he said and moved his eyebrows up and down twice. I fluttered my eyes in embarrassed annoyance and sighed.
“Well stop, I can’t concentrate with you staring at me.” I said.
“What’s wrong? Can’t take your eyes off me?” he teased again and I ignored him this time. He got out a book and I started on my work. Every now and then I would catch him look away from me, but for the most part, I was into my math. It went by fast and when the bell rang it seemed like fifteen minutes later.
“You done?” Louis asked as he stood with me and we left the room.
“No, I was half way done, but I’ll finish it tonight.” I said, stuffing my messenger bag with all my stuff.
“My offer still stands.” he said.
“No thanks.” I smiled.
“Well, I’m off to History.” he sighed.
“I’m in gym.” I said. He hugged me and then walked off.
“See you after school.” he called, turning around once. I waved and he continued into the History classroom.
I didn’t get greeted by Connelly on my way to the gym and when I walked in, I saw him with Ivan and Mira on the bleachers. Sue was also sitting on the bleachers and she waved when she saw me. I walked along the wall, careful not to get in the way of the students who were doing their exercises.
“Why are we all sitting on the bleachers?” I asked, sitting beside her.
“Well Coach Bailey said that since we’re in the dance competition, it counts as gym time so we don’t have to exercise.” she said excitedly.
“Cool.” I said. I looked up at Connelly. He looked at me and then away. Great, he was in a mood now. Well, I’ll have to fix that. I’m not dancing with a moody vampire, that’s just asking for trouble.
Suddenly, Ivan burst out laughing, but stopped when everyone looked at him. He looked at me and smiled, still chuckling a little. I smiled back and Connelly looked at me angrily. He then turned back to his brother and demanded to know what was so funny. Ivan just shook his head and pointed at me. I jumped up and walked down to Coach Bailey, glancing at Connelly, who was now glaring at me.
“Coach, would it be fine if we could be allowed to walk on the track while the regular gym period was going on?” I asked with a smile. He looked like he was about to say “no” so I added quickly, “That’s still exercising our legs and that’s good for dancing — Having good leg muscles.” I did my innocent angel look and moved my legs, indicating them.
“… Sure. I’ll send for you when it’s time to dance.” Coach Bailey smiled and then returned his attention to the other students. I turned to the students on the bleachers and raised my arms.
“Okay guys, let’s go out on the track.” I said and everyone jumped up and ran outside. I was one of the last ones out, in front of the vampire trio.
“So, I see you and Ivan are in cahoots against me.” said Connelly, now at my side.
“How do you figure?” I asked, completely unaware of where he got that impression.
“He won’t tell me what you’re thinking.” he answered.
“And how am I in on it?” I asked.
“You think the stuff.” Connelly looked at me like I should have known that and I couldn’t help but laugh a little.
“Oh, I’m sorry I can’t stop thinking on command. I’ll work on that.” I said and walked passed him. I was trying to storm off, but he kept pace with me easily.
“Now that you know you can’t walk away from me, can you get over it?” he said.
“What’s your problem? What did I do to you to make you mad at me other than thinking something that made your brother laugh?” I asked, irritated now. We were on the track now and had no one within earshot.
“You like him.” Connelly said angrily.
“Who? Louis?” I asked. He looked at me with those angry red eyes and then looked down.
“Don’t tell him.” said a voice in my mind.
“What in the world?” I thought.
“Kota, don’t tell me you forgot again.” Ivan’s voice sounded surprised and amused.
“Oh yeah.” I thought. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay. Just don’t tell Connelly the truth. You’ll see why in a minute. Say something now.” commanded Ivan.
“The only feelings I have for him are for friendship.” I said, looking at him. He didn’t look at me for a minute, but then a smile came across his face.