“W-what?” he laughed, rubbing the back of his head with his hand. “I was just waiting for you to come back.” He shot me an ear to ear grin that was dripping with conviction. That, in itself, was a dead giveaway. In addition, one glance at Leo and Nick told me that Damien was lying. Leo, for the first time all through out lunch had set his phone aside and was looking at Damien the way someone would if they saw their pet puppy rolling around the floor and barking cutely - as if this were a show. Nick, on the other hand, was blushing and fiddling with his fingers, avoiding making eye contact with me.
Sighing, I slumped forwards on the table. “Don’t tell me you were showing off about spending Thanksgiving dinner at my place.”
“Eh?” The look that crossed Damien’s face was something of pride. Like he wasn’t that desperate to go around announcing that to people. That’s what told me he was lying when he said, “Yup. That’s exactly it.”
“N-n-no I’m not!”
I sighed. Why was he putting up the act?
“He’s trying to trick us into telling him who your date was with,” Leo spoke coolly. The sound that escaped into the air the next second must have been that of Damien’s heart strings snapping. Slapping his hands down on the surface of the table, he shot forward, looming closer to Leo.
“I told you not to tell her!”
“Not that again!” I groaned, sinking lower on the bench. “You know too?” I peeked up through the strands of my hair that had fallen in front of my face at Nick. He winked and said in an overly joyful voice, “I sure do.”
Leo was unfazed, his eyes meeting mine again and glinting in mischief. “Forgive me Makayla. I meant to say that he was trying to pry the information out of Nick and I. Damien lacks the sophistication to trick anyone into anything.”
“You!” Damien started clawing at him like a wild bear cub but all Leo did was raise one arm in front of him to defend himself and give Damien a bone-chilling glare. That and he said just one word to make him stop: “Sit.”
With a huff, Damien plopped his butt back down next to me, and I could swear I heard him whimpering under his breath. The connection the two shared was worrying. No - not worrying. Scary. I wondered if Leo really did consider Damien as his pet. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that were the case.
“He’s been badgering us to tell him since after Thanksgiving,” Leo said, filling me in on what I had missed. “Texts, calls, you name it.”
“It’s not fair,” Damien whined, rubbing at his eyes even though he wasn’t crying. “I’m the only one who doesn’t know. Why am I always the last to know the important things?” He turned to me in the middle of the laughter that escaped my lips, grabbing my hands in his. My laughter died as my eyes settled on his face, and from across the table, I heard Nick and Leo let out their groans.
“Ugh. He’s doing it again,” Nick muttered. Leo merely sighed and agreed with Nick by saying, “He’ll crack her, alright.”
And they were right. He was doing ‘it’. Damien’s eyes grew to be ten times their normal size, and as I stared into those welling pools of green, I felt like I was staring right into his pleading heart. And it wasn’t just his eyes that were going all goo-goo at me. His cheeks were flushed baby-pink, his mouth pulled into a pout that could work it’s way into even Satan’s heart.
“Please Makayla. Tell me,” he whispered. Even his voice had changed - prompting an image of peaceful meadows and flower gardens to pop up in my head. Damien was trying to hypnotize me. But...it wasn’t working on me. Not the way the trio thought it would. I saw through it - it was an act, or perhaps even a trump card that Damien always used on people to get what he wanted. Letting out a sigh, I broke the moment with answer that would have his hopes crashing down.
“No can do amigo.”
Nick’s elbow slipped on the table, his face chaotically hitting the surface as his eyes widened in what I could only place as shock. He was the only one to make an audible reaction at my answer, with all three boys gawking at me as if I had just done something miraculous. With a sigh, I shrugged and asked, “What?”
“Nobody breaks my puppy eyes. No one,” Damien sobbed dramatically.
I snorted, “Calm down Flynn Rider.”
Apparently, Damien wasn’t joking based off the looks that Nick and Leo were giving me. It was like I’d transformed into a goddess in front of them. Nick grabbed my hand from across the table and gave it a hearty shake.
“Thank you. You have restored my faith in humanity.”
“Mine too,” Leo added, shaking his head to himself. “This is truly a once in a lifetime occurrence.”
Before I could point out that they were all blowing the issue way out of proportion, Damien’s hand came down firmly on my shoulder and turned me roughly, though not painfully, to face him.
“You must tell me Makayla,” he pleaded, shaking me hard enough to make my head feel like it might detach from my shoulders. “Your love life is of the utmost important to me. Papa can’t handle it if you’re dating someone without my knowing.”
“P-papa?” I sputtered, trying to free myself from his grasp.
“That’s a new one,” Nick murmured, going back to watching us from the sidelines. I threw both of them a helpless glance, realizing they would do nothing to help me before deciding to give in to what Damien wanted to hear.
“Alright, alright, I’ll tell you.”
“YES!” Damien let go, clapping his hands together and shot a wide-mouthed grin at the guys, as if to say, ‘See? I did it!’ “So who’s the guy?”
“Well...” I started, shifting ever so slowly on the bench and moving toward the corner where my bag rested on the ground. I eyed Leo who seemed to know what I was going to do. A tiny smirk made it’s way onto his face, before he too, started to edge off of the bench, one hand reaching to his bag. “He’s really cold.”
“Cold?” Damien blinked. “You mean his personality? Did he do something to hurt you? Do you want me to kill him?”
I bit down on my lip, hard, to stop from laughing. I nodded sadly and reached toward my bag, setting it on my lap and playing with the zip to make it look like I was thinking.
“Where does he live? Give me the address and I’ll pay him a visit.” Damien had to be joking. He had to be but the fiery glint that appeared in his eyes and the way he started to crack his knuckles told me otherwise. Nick, across the table, had one fist propped in front of his mouth in order not to give away the fact that he was stifling laughter. Leo too was facing the other direction.
“Can I text it to you? I can’t remember it off the top of my head so I had it saved somewhere on my phone.”
I turned away to take my phone out of my bag, using the opportunity to crack a grin at Leo who grinned evilly back, enjoying this way too much. Clearing my throat, I begun to type out the address and before clicking the ‘send button’, shot one last glance at Leo and nodded. The moment the audible message notification tone rang off of Damien’s phone, Leo and I bolted out of our seats. I grabbed his hand so he wouldn’t get left behind as we moved through the crowds of the cafeteria, several ‘excuse me’’s and ‘coming through people’’s being thrown about.
I sneaked a peek over my shoulder to see Damien staring blankly at his phone. When he finally looked up again, he met my gaze from halfway across the cafeteria and boy - did he look furious.
“Makayla Summers, I swear in the name of all that’s good, if you don’t get your butt back here I will...” Everything else he yelled was blocked out as Leo and I burst through the cafeteria doors and outside, our lungs breathing in the cool wintry air as we laughed and tried to catch our breath. People both inside and outside the building were eyeing us suspiciously, no doubt thinking we’d gone insane.
“That. Was. So worth it,” Leo huffed through catching his breath. I giggled and was about to agree with him when I could make out Damien squeezing his way through the cafeteria - and toward us. His ears were pink. His face was blushing furiously and when his eyes met mine, I knew I’d be worse than dead if he caught me. Grabbing Leo’s hand again, we made a break for it, our loud laughter escaping into the air as we ran toward the field. Damien soon joined us, hot on our tail, his shouts and threats only making me double over in even stronger fits of giggles.
I knew he would catch us soon enough, and when he did, I would get an earful but for now, I wanted to enjoy making him chase after me.