I had already forgotten what the people in my English class looked like. I suppose I didn’t pay that much attention to them when I walked in yesterday. I found Aria in the back of the room, as usual, and took a seat beside her. She regarded me coolly.
“Where have you been?” she murmured.
“I slept late,” I said, glancing at her. “I wasn’t over his house.”
She didn’t say anything, only turned to face the front again. Our teacher, Mrs. Warren, stared at me before clearing her throat. I knew what was coming. Before she could speak, I interrupted her.
“I already have detention today,” I declared.
She looked surprised. “It’s the second day of school and only the second class of the day. How on earth did you manage a detention so early in the day, Miss Stewart?”
“I was late to my first class,” I said, nodding. I didn’t care if everyone knew, as long as they didn’t think what Aria did. That was the worst part of thing entire thing – she knew and I couldn’t say a word.
“Alright, well please stop talking and pay attention. Will you all take out your books and turn to Chapter Three?”
I bent to get my copy of Catcher in the Rye, but stopped when something caught my eye on the other side of the room; it was a boy I’d never seen before, and we had both reached for our books simultaneously.
He smiled at me, his blue eyes gleaming.
Beside me Aria cleared her throat.
“Who is that?” I whispered, pointing.
Aria followed my finger and smirked. “That’s Hunter. You must have not being paying attention yesterday when he came in.”
“I would have remembered that guy,” I said.
“Want a napkin?” Aria’s laugh was low.
“For what?” I mumbled.
I blinked and looked down. Sure enough there was a small circle of saliva on my desk. I groaned and used my sleeve to clean it up.
“Wow,” I heard her exclaim next to me. “I’ve never seen that actually happen to someone. You like him.”
“I don’t even know him,” I shot back. “Besides, I already--”
Her eyes widened and she leaned closer to me. How the teacher couldn’t hear her excited movements was a mystery to me since the entire room, except for Aria’s desk quivering, was dead quiet.
“You have to tell me,” Aria said. “Who is it?”
I pretended to read, like I should have been doing, to drown out her question. I couldn’t answer her honestly. She’d call me sick, twisted, and stupid. I saw her out of the corner of my eye, her face eager and annoyed at the same time. I saw her open her mouth to say something when the bell rang.
Before Aria could say anything word, I was out the door. I didn’t make it very far as someone gripped my shoulder from behind, spun me around, and kissed me. They pressed me against a row of lockers and I felt my arms go up around their neck to pull them closer. I dared a glance at the mysterious person, still not sure why I hadn’t shoved them away.
A sea of blue swam in my vision and I opened my eyes, along with shaggy black hair, and a tall but broad frame. He stepped back and put his hands in his pockets, looking pleased with himself.
“What was that for?” I swallowed, blushing. “I don’t even know you.”
“I heard you and your friend talking,” Hunter said, smirking. “I thought I’d help you out since you seemed rather reluctant to tell her what she wanted to know.”
“How does that help me?” I hissed. I glanced around quickly to see if she was coming down the hall. When I didn’t spot her, I pulled Hunter into the empty classroom beside the lockers and leaned against the closed door.
Hunter’s eyes held mine before he spoke, his words chilling me.
“You let me pretend to be your boyfriend so you friend gets off your back and I won’t tell anyone about you and the teacher.”