I crossed a few of the pack members on my way to my locker, but they didn’t turn back to say' hello'. Each time, the smile pasted on my lips dried there without recognition. A sour taste was in my mouth when I finally arrived at destination. I grabbed the lock, my fingers automatically turning it to the numbers of my combination. Beside me, another set of hands appeared.
“Good morning beautiful,” his voice sent shivers down my spine. I turned, smiling the most convincing smile I would ever do, while I instantly blocked my thoughts.
“You skipped yesterday.” Cole’s features remained flat like stone, but his tone made it a statement, not a question.
Almost like he knew exactly what I did yesterday.
“Yeah, I didn’t feel well after Wednesday night, and mom didn’t want Ben to leave either, some sort of house arrest.” We both knew what had happen that night, but it was some kind of agreement not to mention it.
“Well I hope you feel better.” There was an awkward silence following his words.
“Yeah, I do. Thank you,” I stopped, leaving him to do the conversation. He stood there watching me while I packed my things in my bag for the first class.
“I better go. I don’t want to be late for my class, do I?” He laughed and then turned around, walking towards the door at the end of the packed hallway.
I fetched my phone from my pocket and checked the time, wondering how much time I had to get to class. Maybe I was going to be late after all. When the numbers appeared, a laugh escaped my mouth. It was only 8:55, and we had plenty of time to get to class on time. Some lame excuse he had pulled off there, but somehow I couldn’t help but feel grateful for that. Less minutes I had to pretend to be another girl.
His voice was like a magnet, pushing me around to face him, almost against my will. I knew what I had to do, and I had practiced all day, but it didn’t make it any easier.
“Hey,” one simple word was enough for him to figure there was something wrong.
“Are you okay?” His eyes searched mine for an answer, but they failed.
“We’re fine, thank you,” Rose’s icy tone caught his attention. He hadn’t sensed her presence.
“Sure doesn’t look like it.”
“We are,” I replied. I frowned, concentrating on something just beside his head. I knew I couldn’t look him in the eyes.
We stood there in silence for a few seconds before he finally dropped his gaze to the floor, sighing audibly.
“You know it seriously pisses me off when you do that. This look on your face... Just because you’re popular and everyone loves you, doesn’t mean you can control everything.”
“What are you talking about?” His voice was incredulous.
“You know what I’m talking about. This thing, we didn’t have to be in the middle of it. Cole explained everything,” I watched Rose get closer with every word, letting her anger seep into his mind. I knew I had to jump in. It was me who was going to make it all official.
“That’s not true. You know it’s not true. He’s got you brainwashed. That’s exactly what he wants,” Liam’s voice was stable, reasonable, like he was talking about the weather.
“No Liam, he’s a good guy. You’re the one who brought us into this. It was careless, and you put us in danger for no reason... You’re playing with our safety here,” The words flew out of my mouth, and I watched him wince, like I was punching him. He looked at me, dazed. Finally he opened his mouth, about to talk, but I beat him to it.
“No more playing, Liam. It’s done. If you want a defenseless princess to rescue, go ask Lisa. I’m sure she would love to play the role.”
“Alicia,” Liam finally managed. I turned around, not letting him get a chance at answering. Rose began walking away. But just as I took a step, I saw Cole, standing alone, a few feet away. He smiled at me and this reminded me of something.
Returning his smile, I pushed a thought in my mind, invading the space. Cole’s smile became broader, and I sneaked a look over my shoulder to see Liam frowning. His mind was caught in another dimension. When I reached Cole, he pulled me close, kissing me fervently. I imagined that from Liam’s view, it looked a lot like the image I had just seen in my head moments ago.