The cafeteria bustled with the sound of plastic trays, phones buzzing and students talking and laughing. The idea of eating didn't much appeal to Alivia as she and Kaiden found the others. Sophie waved a hand from their usual table and they sat.
“Kaiden,” Sophie smiled, her eyes lighting up at the sight at him.
“Hey,” he said, his eyes only on her for a moment before they looked around the large hall.
“What happened last night?” Martin snapped the moment Alivia sat down next to him. She blinked at him, a little shocked by his tone.
“There was a break-in last night. I had to help Muriel clean up,” she replied calmly. Martin's face flushed and he ducked his head.
“Oh,” he said. They sat in awkward silence for a while before Sophie piped up.
“Happy Birthday Ali,” she said, smiling. Martin blinked, as if he only just remembered it when Sophie said it.
“You didn't tell me it was your birthday,” Kaiden said.
“It's no big deal,” Alivia shrugged. “There's another party at Martin tonight to celebrate,” she said.
“With limited numbers,” Martin put in. “Sorry, but you weren't here when we sent out the invites,” he added, shrugging. Sophie blinked at him.
“Ignore him, it's fine. You can come if you want,” Alivia said, shooting Martin a withering look.
“Thanks,” he said. He turned his attention to Martin. “Her brother got hurt too, by the way,” Kaiden threw in. Alivia felt her spine straighten and turned wide-eyes on Kaiden. What the hell? Martin glanced at him and then back to Alivia.
“You told him before me,” he stated, his voice controlled.
“I ran into him on my way to lunch and he asked. It's not like its a town secret,” she replied, recognising Martin's tone and forgetting Kaiden. Why is he being like this now?
“He is going to go elsewhere,” Kaiden said. Mocking the way they were talking about him. He stood up, rolling his eyes at Martin obvious possessiveness. Alivia opened her mouth to object.
“Yeah, go. Make all our lives easier,” Martin huffed. Alivia snapped her mouth shut and shot him a look. Kaiden didn't hang around for more insults and left. Sophie watched all this silently, having seen this before herself.
“If I date him, can he be friends with Alivia?” Sophie teased. Martin didn't respond, just picked at his food. Alivia breathed slowly so she wouldn't sound mad when she spoke, it didn't work.
“He was just being nice,” Alivia said.
“No such thing,” Martin shot back.
“Well in that case you should have a go at Justin or Tommy or Peter. They're all guys that talk to me and are just nice,” Alivia replied. Martin laughed, shaking his head. When he turned to look at her he had his mouth half covered with one hand and was smiling.
“I'm being serious,” she murmured.
“Peter's such a quiet geek he'd never make a move. Tommy is more interested in getting stoned than girls. And Justin is totally into Denise ” Martin replied, shrugging. Alivia opened her mouth to argue but they both knew he was right.
“Ugh, don't mention Denise,” she muttered before fixing him with a serious look. “And I'm interested in you, idiot. Kaiden's the new kid, I didn't see the harm in being helpful,” Alivia said. Martin squirmed in his seat before finally letting a guilty expression cross his face.
“Sorry,” he murmured. “I just wish you'd told me what happened sooner,” he said.
“A lot happened, I didn't really think about telling anyone,” she said.
“Are you okay?” Martin asked. Alivia opened her mouth, ready to say 'fine', but her voice froze on her. She sighed and shook her head.
“I will be,” she finally said. I hope.
“Happy Birthday,” he said, half hugging her with one arm and dropping a kiss on her forehead. Alivia sighed, feeling sorry for herself. Yeah, it's going just great so far …