I almost collapse as Annora tackles me with a hug the next morning. You'd think we hadn't seen each other in years, but she's only been away for a month. She's been my best friend since I first started at Baramere, and my mother says we're practically sisters to each other. Which is a good thing. She's shorter than me by a few inches, with green eyes and red brown hair. I have a small selection of relatively close friends, but Annora's the only one I've ever felt truly happy having as my most trusted friend.
"I feel like I've not seen you for months" She laughs as we embrace in the parking lot.
I laugh "Only one month" I slot back into school routine quickly, and we chat and laugh as the day goes by. At morning break, Isaac comes into our homeroom and pulls me into a bone crushing hug.
"Isaac, really happy to see you and all, but.. can't... breathe..." I gasp dramatically for air as he releases me and ruffles Annora's hair in greeting.
"How was your holiday?" he asks us, perching on the edge of my desk. He's grown, definitely.
"Well, I don't see how you could call a week off school a holiday, but good thanks, stayed home mostly" I say, and even though its only school, I'm glad to be back. Isaac's in the middle of telling me about his camping trip with his older brother, when Leo saunters in and kisses Annora. He's her boyfriend, and he's good fun but vain and a real show off if you ask me. Still, he cares a bunch for Annora and he's a good guy, so I'm okay with him.
After we're done examining and naming plants (in latin) for our schools version of biology, Annora and I head to the cafeteria to get a table and wait for the guys.
"Ugh honestly," Annora complains as we're walking through the hall "When am I gonna need to know which medical herb cures wound swelling? And why am I going to need the latin names for every part of it?!"
"You never know, it could come in handy one day" But even I have to admit that Plantology with Dr Bridgeland could be used as some sort of torture device. We meet up in the cafeteria with Lola, another friend of ours, a newer girl who only joined this year, Isaac and Leo. We get our food then head over to our favourite spot outside on one of the bench tables overlooking the lake. I guess our school is pretty nice, but considering it's the only one to teach supernaturals, I kind of expect it to be good.
Isaac and Leo wander off to get more food, and Lola runs over to her cousin sat on another table to ask her something. I'm laughing at something Annora says when I spot him across the courtyard, he's leaning against the wall but when he sees me he starts walking over. I hope Annora doesn't notice but she nudges me.
"Hey Aria, who's the gorgeous third year? Haven't seen him before"
"I don't know" I mutter, trying not to make eye contact with him, he comes over anyway.
"He looks like he's coming over here..." Annora says and I look up to see him sliding onto the bench opposite me, grinning.
"Hello, Aria Loren." He smiles, his straight teeth gleaming, I glance to the side, Oh god, everyone in a three table radius is staring at him. I can feel Annora's shocked gaze on my face but I don't dare turn to look at her.
"Hello" I mumble back, trying to keep my head down
"Don't worry, I don't have any blades on me today, and I didn't come here to stalk you" He seemed to be immensely enjoying the shock on Annora's face, and the fact that every girl was looking his way.
"Did you need something?" I ask, trying to keep my voice quiet, and also trying to quench the tingly feeling in my spine that I had earlier.
"Not particularly, but I said I'd see you around, didn't I?" He winked at me and I half smiled back, unsure of what to say. "Of course," He continued before I had to think of something to say, "I could go if I make you feel uncomfortable" He leaned forward slightly, and I glanced up to see Annora trying not to laugh, and Isaac coming out of the cafeteria further off.
"Uh, no, I don't want you to go, but... you're kind of sitting in my friends lunch spot" I said, spotting an easier excuse.
"Ah of course, I apologise to your friend but before I depart again, may I ask you something?"
"Um" I was suddenly stupidly nervous of what it might be. "Sure"
"Whats your favourite type of ice cream?" I was to taken aback I laughed slightly, I'd been expecting some heavy, deep question; although I didn't understand how he could say a question like that with such a seductive tone. Was he doing it on purpose?
"Um the Ben and Jerry's Baked Alaska..." I sounded so stupid compared to his confidence.
"Interesting" He said after a moment, as though I had just told him I liked to make snowmen out of ice cream and dance the tango with them. He stood and grinned again "Well, I shall see you later, Aria" And with that, he turned and strode back to the third year block, winking at some girls on the way.
"Who the heck was that?" demanded Isaac as he sat down, and, was it my imagination or did he sound angry, almost defensive?
"Um.. He's... someone I met yesterday" I said, shocked that I had not made him up entirely. "But I don't know him, not really" although part of me was already wanting to know about him, whether that was good or bad, I didn't know.