Just Me(3)

By: L.A. Fiore

“Well, the Cheers saw him too, so I'm guessing by lunch they'll all be fast friends.” I couldn't help the notes of bitterness in my tone. Grabbing my books and shutting my locker, I headed to homeroom.

After morning announcements, I dragged my feet down the hall to English Literature and took a seat in the back of the class. I pulled out my notebook and started to sketch. Students had gotten their class assignments a few weeks ago and as I did every year, I avoided learning who I shared classes with until school actually started, so I wouldn't stew about it over summer break. Seeing Kira and Mica, I groaned out loud, it was because of them I had that rule.

Why the groan? Because they were mean girls, and looked the part—exceedingly beautiful with long corn silk blond hair and big, bright blue eyes. They had the figures too: long, lean, and willowy. Physically, the artist in me thought they were lovely, until they opened their mouths and then the ugliness became very evident.

As it was with their whole group, they scanned the classroom to see who was in their midst. Anyone they deemed cool, they smiled to and giggled at and anyone currently on their bash list got the eye—the evil eye. I saw very little smiling coming from Kira, but it was Mica's expression that interested me, because it seemed so out of character. Not only wasn't she glaring at people, she looked rather meek as she stood behind Kira staring only at her books. Could it be she had learned at last that her treatment of people was wrong? I wouldn't have believed her capable of empathy, but people did change.

A few minutes later I lifted my head again when I heard Kira—her voice sounded like nails down a chalkboard—calling to someone. It was him. I actually felt my body break out into a cold sweat as my heart seemed to triple its rhythm.

He was tall, maybe six-three, and he moved with the easy but deliberate grace of a panther. I had to agree with Sophia. He was altogether yummy, and then he smiled and I felt my world tilt on its axis. He wasn't smiling at me, but if he ever unleashed that megawatt smile in my direction, I think I would very likely melt.

It shouldn't have been a surprise to see him take the seat next to Kira right up front, since she was by far, the most beautiful girl in school, but I still felt the pang of disappointment. Not even he was immune to Kira's charms and that knocked him off the pedestal his body and face almost demanded he be on.

Mrs. MacIntosh entered the classroom, so I slipped my notebook into my backpack and pulled my ear buds from my ears. I left the hoodie up, but that didn't last long when Mrs. MacIntosh speared me with her black eyes.


She didn't need to say anything more, and while I was pushing my hoodie down, my gaze caught a turquoise one. The sight of the new boy looking directly at me had my heart lodging into my throat. He stared, really longer than was polite, and I noticed the slight grin that tugged at the corner of his mouth before he turned back around. What the hell was that smile about?

My hands shook as I reached for my pencil, so I tried for a few calming breaths—in through my nose and out my mouth. It took five long minutes to get my nerves under control. No, that had never happened to me before: so visceral a reaction to someone. Wasn't it just my luck that when I did feel it, it was for someone who was going to have a line of girls waiting at his locker by the end of the day.

Mrs. MacIntosh took roll call and I had to stop myself from leaning forward, in all eagerness, to hear his name. She said Sebastian Ross right before the deep timbre of his voice filled the silence. “Here.”

Larkspur Ross. It had a nice ring to it and our children—black-haired, blue/green eyes—would be beautiful. What I was thinking was so not me, I actually laughed out loud.

“Care to share with everyone what you find so funny, Miss O’Bannion?” I had drawn the attention of everyone in the room, including Mrs. MacIntosh.

“No, thank you.”

“Do you think you can keep your amusement to yourself?”

My eyes met those teal ones again and I couldn't help my smirk at the ridiculousness of my thoughts, but I forced my focus back to the teacher. “I will endeavor to keep my humor to myself.”

“See that you do.”

He was like a train wreck, or maybe a display of free chocolate, since I couldn't stop looking at him. This time when I did, I saw the grin again, which was rapidly becoming a favorite of mine, flirting over his very sexy mouth. The sight of it pulled another smile from me as I lowered my head. If he only knew what was making me laugh, he wouldn't be grinning at me, but running away, as far and as fast as possible. And that thought almost had me laughing out loud again.