Eae didn’t meet Lucas later; if anything the Religious Studies teacher was avoiding him. Lucas noticed that Eae studied the sisters just as closely as Lucas did himself after their discussion of the sisters. Annoyed with the teacher, Lucas stopped co-operating in lessons and a noticeable difference in pace occurred which caused a strain on Eae.
It was strange how Senka seemed to approve of Lucas making things difficult for Eae. Once or twice, Lucas had actually caught Senka staring at him with an amused twinkle in her eyes although there was no other hint of such emotion. It comforted him to know that it wasn’t only him that Senka seemed to dislike.
Other than brief moments of camaraderie in R.S., Senka treated Lucas exactly as she did before: cold-shouldering him or snapping at him.
Whenever Lucas saw Sunny and Senka together, he felt the strange urge to caution them for some reason he couldn’t explain. Perhaps it was the way Eae looked at them when he watched the two girls together: contemplating.
Senka was oblivious to all those observing her; she was hyper aware of Eae observing her sister, however, in a way that made Senka uneasy. Nithya appeared to become less and less bothered by Eae and was beginning to start a friendship with him. Senka couldn’t have been more horrified: she’d often remarked to Nithya her distrust and dislike of Eae yet her sister wasn’t making due heed of her words. Nithya was welcoming the attention.
Nithya was completely unaware of Senka’s distress and Lucas’ scrutiny since she was quickly becoming enraptured by Eae. She never noticed before how good-looking he really was and he always dressed in a way that complimented his stature. He was always so polite and charming to Nithya, too, even though she was the ‘newbie’ and barely qualified.
Initially Nithya had denied that she had any interest in him but when it got to the point that she was sharing little, flirty smiles in corridors, she realised a blind person could tell they were attracted to one another. Her heart soared to see obvious affection for her in his eyes yet they were aware that they were colleagues and therefore must act professionally.
Over a month after Lucas and Eae’s discussion about the Crossfire children, Eae came into Nithya’s Critical Thinking class. It just so happened, that it was the lesson when Senka was in there; doodling silently while Lucas worked next to her, equally silently. The class was laughing and chatting as they worked but a small handful glanced up in surprise, including Senka, Lucas and Loralei.
Nithya lifted her head from the essays she was marking to see Eae stride into the room directly for her. Her heart picked up speed as she forcefully reminded herself that there were around seventeen students in the class with them.
Lucas felt Senka straighten suddenly. He turned to her, mildly shocked, and saw her sharp eyes narrow as they fixed on Eae whilst he walked towards Miss Wells at the front.
Senka barely noticed Lucas watching her; she was entirely focused on her sister and Eae. Senka directed her senses to the two teachers, blocking out all sound other than their two voices.
"Nithya," Eae murmured, "I was wondering if I might speak with you."
"Of course," Nithya answered at once, "Now?" Senka was forced to supress a growl at how her sister was simpering at Eae.
"No," Eae leant towards Nithya intimately and Senka caught her breath. How dare he act so in front of students? "Somewhere more private, after school perhaps I could take you to a restaurant or café?" Eae continued.
Senka saw Nithya smile secretly at Eae. "Pick me up from here at five, don’t be late," she teased.
"I wouldn’t dream of it," Eae breathed and lightly brushed his lips against her cheek before straightening and walking out of the classroom.
Senka’s mouth fell open as Nithya returned to her work in a happy daze, oblivious to the faint pink painting her face and the openly giggling students. A fierce blush rose to Senka’s cheeks when those students started whispering obscenities about her sister. She was so humiliated to see her sister act so. She wished her sister had acted more appropriately. She wished her classmates would shut up. She wished Lucas would stop staring at her with sympathy in his eyes.
When the bell rang to indicate the end of the day, Senka grabbed her things so fast that her hands were a blur. Thankfully Lucas didn’t see this. Senka was so desperate to escape, she practically ran for the door. Nithya laid a hand on Senka’s arm just before she could flee.
"I’ll be home late tonight, Eae and I are-"
"Yeah, I know," Senka cut Nithya off, poison lacing every word. Nithya dropped her hand, looking hurt, but before she opened her mouth, Senka was gone.