“My boy toy?” She giggled. “He’s perfect.”
I managed to keep the conversation on Chad and how close they’d come to doing it. Of course, Lesa wanted to know about Daemon and me, and I refused to go there, much to her dismay. She admitted to wanting to live vicariously through me.
After bio, I stopped by my locker as usual and took my sweet old time changing out books. I doubted Dee wanted to see my face. The seating arrangements in the cafeteria were going to be super awkward, and I was still annoyed with Daemon. By the time I’d finished grabbing books, the hall was empty and the hum of conversation was distant.
I closed the locker door and twisted halfway, closing the flap on the messenger bag my mom had gotten me for Christmas. Something moved at the end of the once-empty corridor, coming out of what seemed like nowhere. A tall and slender form at the end of the hall, obviously male by the quick look, and he was wearing a baseball cap, which was odd, because that was in violation of the school dress code. It was one of those God-awful trucker hats that guys found cool once upon a time.
Drifter was written in bold black and behind the words was an oval shape…that looked a lot like a surfboard.
My pulse spiked and I blinked, taking a step back. The guy was gone, but the door to the left was slowly swinging closed.
No…no, it couldn’t be. He’d be crazy insane to come back here, but… Holding my bag tightly to my side, I started walking and then I was jogging before I knew it. I hit the door, throwing it open. Rushing to the railing, I peered over it. Mystery Dude was on the bottom level, as if he were waiting at the door.
I could see the trucker hat more clearly. It was definitely a surfboard.
Blake had been an avid surfer when he lived in California.
Then a golden-toned hand, as if the person spent his life under the sun, wrapped around the silver doorknob, and a wave of familiarity raised the tiny hairs on my arms.
Part of my brain clicked off. I went down the steps three at a time, my breath locked in my chest. The hallway was more crowded on the first floor as people headed for the cafeteria. I heard Carissa call my name, but I was focused on the top of the trucker hat moving toward the gymnasium and the back entrance, leading to the parking lots.
I darted around a couple totally getting into hallway PDA, slipped between friends talking, and lost sight of the hat for a second. Dammit. Everyone and their mother were in my way. I bumped into someone, mumbling an apology, and kept going. When I reached the end of the hall, the only place he could’ve gone was out the door. I didn’t think twice. Pushing the heavy double doors open, I stepped outside. Overcast skies turned everything dreary and cold, and as my eyes scanned the common area and, beyond that, the parking lots, I realized he was gone.
Only two things in this world could move that fast: aliens and humans mutated by aliens.
And I had no doubt in my mind that I’d seen Blake, and he’d wanted me to see him.
Finding Daemon wasn’t hard at all. He was lounging against the painted mural of the school mascot in the cafeteria, talking to Billy Crump, a boy from our trig class. A carton of milk was in one hand and a slice of pizza folded in the other. What a gross-as-hell combination.
“We need to talk,” I said, interrupting boy time.
Daemon took a bite of his pizza while Billy glanced down at me. There must’ve been something in my stare, because his smile faded and he lifted his hands, backing up slowly.
“Okay, well, I’ll talk to you later, Daemon.”
He nodded, eyes trained on me. “What’s up, Kitten? Come to apologize?”
My eyes narrowed, and for a brief moment, I entertained the idea of body slamming him in the middle of the cafeteria. “Uh, no, I’m not here to apologize. You owe me an apology.”
“How do you see that?” He took a drink, appearing naively curious.
“Well, for starters, I’m not an ass. You are.”
He chuckled as he glanced to the side. “That’s a good start.”
“And I got Dawson to heel.” I smiled victoriously when his eyes narrowed. “And— Wait. This isn’t even important. God, you always do this.”
“Do what?” His intense gaze swung back to me without a trace of anger. More like amusement and something really inappropriate, given that we were standing in the lunchroom. Dear God…
“Distract me with the inane. And in case you don’t know what that means, it’s silly—you always distract me with something silly.”
He finished off his pizza. “I know what inane means.”
“Shocker,” I retorted.
A slow, cat-got-the-canary grin pulled at his lips. “I must be really distracting you, because you still haven’t told me what you need to talk to me about.”
Dammit. He was right. Ugh. Taking a deep breath, I focused. “I saw—”
Daemon cupped my elbow, spun me around, and started down the aisle. “Let’s go somewhere more private.”
I tried to yank my elbow from his grasp. I really hated it when he went all He-Man on me and ordered me around. “Stop dragging me, Daemon. I can walk on my own, Doofus.”
“Uh huh.” He led me down the hall, stopping by the gym doors. He placed his hands on either side of my head, caging me in as he leaned down. His forehead brushed mine. “Can I tell you something?”
“I find it incredibly attractive when you’re all feisty with me.” His lips brushed against my temple. “That probably makes me disturbed. But I like it.”
Yeah, it kind of was wrong, but there was something…hot about how quickly he defended me whenever something happened.