When we had returned to the front of the school I parked back in my original spot, the spot that had begun the morning and its events. I shot off the car and pulled the keys from the ignition in the usual manner I would, however much slower since I was aware of the human occupants. I glanced outward to see the students were just begining to enter the school but there was still plenty waiting outside for the last bits of freedom before they were forced into education. I let out a little sigh between my lips, this was going to be another long day I could tell. I glanced backward at the boys to see if they were ready but to my surrpise they had their eyes fixed on me and every action I commited. I remembered vaguely what Henrietta had said about little human habits. I itched my finger.
I noted that something grave must have been the matter-Noah's perfect lips were still and Brent's huge smile was replaced by an unwelcome thin line. I didn't turn away from them, although I did make sure to blink every five to ten seconds. I knew there was nothing wrong with either of them because the beating of their hearts was at a regular and soothing pace along with the breathing that relaxed. But I could no longer take the stare from the glorious blue and the sparkling brown. I looked between both of them and asked, "What's the matter?"
"How did you know my name?" Brent asked, his eyes looking between both of mine as if in search of some flaw.
"Simple. Unlike others I pay attention," I answered as I returned the same penetrating stare. Of course, I won. But I was not done with the questions yet.
"What's the first thing I ever said to you?" Noah asked and from the way his eyes glared I knew there was a heavy weight to this question and I had to answer it to the best of my knowledge.
"'Hey, can I have the ball?'' I repeated for him, managing to mimic his slight accent that has as unnoticable as his curls.
The managed in sync to shake their heads as if they had rehearsed this all evening. Noah, with his raised brows, corrected, "The first thing I said to you was, 'Hey.' And you just walked past me."
My brows furrowed in confusion; this was something I absolutely did not recall. I wondered vaguely if this mysterious conversation was apart of his imaginings but from his expression I could see it was the truth. Poor Noah, deep in his blue eyes, seemed to express a sliver of pain he hid with his amusing expression. I shook my head as I glanced downward, "I apologize."
I watched in suprise as a slow smile creeped across both of their lips in the same manner. Instead of responding to my apology Brent simply leaned forward and asked, "Hey. Wanna have lunch with us today?"
I batted my lashes three times before shrugging my shoulders in the same manner as many of the students I had witnessed just the day before, "I suppose. It's the least I owe for nearly killing the both of you."
They gave a slight chuckle although Brent's eyes widened as if still haunted by the memory. It was then that we left the car and began our walk to the school that had seemed to begin as we waited and spoke. As we walked I couldn't help but to observe that Noah's hand, the one closest to mine, hung limp against his side as if he were waiting for me to take it up. No, that must not be true. I looked away from his hand that seemed to create illusions in the old mind of mine-of all hands why would he want to hold mine? In silence we walked to the same home room, an observation I hadn't made the day before. I wondered how I had been so oblivious that I missed them so early in the morning with their joy and constant humor but it was a kind of humor they shared to themselves. I knew there were moments they wanted me to share but I knew I wasn't funny, I couldn't join in.
As they spoke in their jovial tones I couldn't help but to imagine a time long ago when I had spoke with the same love of life. Long, long ago. I had been made bitter then by my time, place, position, and gender in life and it seemed with all my hatred I could do nothing but fester in the sterility that bitterness provides. I would wonder down the long hallways of my father's-under the influence of what ever spirits I could find in our dark cellars that held even darker secrets-when I had come across a servant, a new one, from strange tides. He had been older than me and devilishly handsome and when we spoke in shadowed corners he loved to touch my long and growing hair, back then when it had been a light color brown. He would spin with his silver tongue dreams that I would kill to make reality and when I told him that part of me he promised he too would kill to make our dreams come true. He had gone missing for a long, long time after than and when he had returned I was betrothed to a man that had been my father's business partner for quite some time, he had watched me grown, but the servant that had grown to be my lover had other plans. He came into my bedroom one night with a man that promised to steal us away from the life that kept us apart but all I wanted was the freedom. He needed money, my father's fortune, and I gave it to him with access to the cellars of my father's and his father's and his father's before him. When the strange man had taken all he wanted he took me and my lover to a far away land where he asked which of us was not afraid to die and I timidly raised my hand. He took it then and bit me and when my lover tried to save me the man did the same to him and we were dead before the sun had risen. On the following night I awoke to see my lover slumbering beside me but it wasn't just sleep I had awaken from-I could feel in my bones, in my body, in my soul that I was different and when he woke he would be too. It was then that a strange scent caught my attention and I followed it to a hut where I found the strange man with a woman who was bound and tied and pleading with her eyes. The man said she was my gift and I could do with her what I like; she was my first victim and I had been so hungry I left no blood for my lover. When he awoke he was even more devilish than in his human life and for the first time, as I watched him kill his first victim too, I thought I could taste love. I thought I could taste it.
The whisper of my name falling from Brent's mouth caused my eyes to flicker up at the two of them at the front of the classroom while I sat near the back. It was then that alarm signaling the end of the short period rang and I stood to leave the room. Outside the room Maria stood waiting for me and to my surprise I was actually relieved to see her. She began to walk toward our shared first period as she smiled, "Good morning."
"Good morning to you too," I replied, finding a comfort in the unchanged pattern that had been created the before.
"So, what did you think of your first day?" she asked, her eyes glancing backward every so often to the crowd of heart beats and foot steps that followed us.
"It was fine. I made two new friends," I answered, suddenly regretting that I mentioned anything. Some part of me wanted to keep Noah a secret of mine and yet the other part of me, the very girlish part that still lingered, wanted to know any secret of his.
Her eyes perked up suddenly and I saw that she was genuinely excited and interested as she asked, "Who?"
"Noah and Brent," the names spilled from my mouth in the same manner that I would admit a fault. Her reaction seemed to recieve them in the same manner.
"Noah and Brent?" she repeated, adding the questioning tone on the last name.
"Yes," a panic began to fill me as I watched the tiny spasms that unfolded across her dark toned face. If I wasn't mistaken I could almost see pain flashly briefly behind her bright eyes.
"Cool. We have a lot of classes with them," was the last thing she said on our trip to our first period class. I could note, to my distress, the sudden stiffness in her posture and her gate. I had begun to hope Maria would be my friend, my real friend, but it seemed my sudden interested in the two had killed any chance of that.
But it wasn't a lasting condition.
After the first period of the day the stiffness seemed to vanish and in it's place left an even warmer Maria than I had been introduced to and I hoped to begin to get to know her except in our second period we were split up by some "Office duties" she had to take care of but she wasn't missed. I hadn't realized that I had second period with Noah, where the missing conversation must have taken place. It seemed the day before I had been completely oblivious to everything-I hadn't even known I had first period with Brent a well. And it seemed without Maria or the open road to distract my full physical attraction to Noah was thrusted upon me. As I tried to focus on what ever material the teacher was teaching I found my eyes every so often actnig on their own to observe him in his natural habitat.
I tried to calm myself as I watched him but his heartbeat began to thunder in my ears as if it were my own and it was impossible for me to look away. His fingers thrummed against the desk silenly and I watched, realizing how big his hands were in comparison to mine. His foot tapped beneath his jeans that hung tightly and loosely to his legs that were long like the roots of trees. His skin seemed to take on a glow that filled the room with the same scent that filled the car, the scent of his blush, and I suddenly found my fingers wanting to brush against the blonde hairs on his arms. Oh his arms. How muscular and tan they had been seemed to pass over my head as he rescued me from the teacher but at that moment they were present, very present. I thought briefly to when he had lifted his shirt to wipe his face and I felt the hunger spread through out me-only intensified by the drying lips he licked to keep moist. The act was cut off though by his hand that flew up to run through his hair and I could see with joy that the ends were growing at a slightly above average rate. His hair...so gold and so yellow and so thick...I wanted to run my hands through it as I looked into his blue eyes that were surrounded by long lashes and were so blue and pure without a single other color present other than darkness of his wide pupils.
I looked upward to see the teacher-Mrs. Gainger-had called my name. I nodded my head as I responded, "Mrs. Gainger."
"Is there something wrong with Mr. Lott?" she asked, filling me with confusion before she explained, "Or is Noah just distracting you?"
I realized then that I had been staring at him, with wide and unblinking eyes, the entire period without turning my attention from him a single second. A light chuckle filled the class, along with the familiar smell that was his blush, and I turn back in my desk to face forward so I can answer but he beats me to it, "It's my fault, Gainger, I'm trying to seduce her with my body language."
A trickle of laughter cascaded through the classroom as I feel an overwhelming sense of embarres me fill me. As he took the attention from me and to himself it was then I noticed Noah must have been the class clown. Mrs. Gainger looked at him as if she were used to this type of resonse, "Could you give the new girl a chance to breathe? It's only her second day. And what did I tell you about the 'Mrs?'"
"Gainger I said it once and I'm not gonna say it again. You have to earn the 'Mrs,'" Noah groaned as if he were completely drained from the conversation already. But it wasn't over and it began a new discussion that proved amusing for me and the classroom. I felt a smile form on my lips as I watched Noah and his antics and his never being able to miss a beat.
The bell rang to my joy and with full knowledge that Noah would want to speak with me I left as quick, and human, as I possibly could. I was thankful that my next class was only down the hall but to my dismay Brent walked in with a grin, "So. You were checking out Noah, weren't you?"
"Leave her alone," Maria grumbled as she entered the classroom behind him and took her seat beside me. I noticed that upon her arrival and her response Brent became quiet, very quiet, and because of her response I couldn't help but to notice the possibility that my friend Maria might have a crush on Noah. I felt a burning rage that was unfamiliar to me but it subsided as I caught the slight eye glance given between Brent and Maria. If I was correct I could see both their pupils expand in pleasure...but I had been wrong before.
The day continued with only slight hiccups like the fiasco in second period. It appeared that I had been in a very strong daze the day before since it seemed I had all of my morning classes with both Brent and Noah. I was thankful that fourth period they were together while I was with Maria so I had no worry of being distracted by Noah again and in her company I began to find out more information on the girl that was my guide. I discovered that she was the oldest of three children and the only girl, I discovered she had a crush on a boy that remained unnamed, and I discovered she wanted to be a politician when she grew which explained her constant helping in the office. But being suddenly involved came at a price.
The more I found out about Maria the more awake I became and the more I noticed the stares. It seemed the females looked soley at my clothes while the boys looked at everything else. I found it awkward and unappealing to be the center of attention; I wished to slowly fade away although I knew that was an impossible request. This must have been Edwin's plan all along-he knew very well that I hated to be the focus of anything-but I wouldn't let him win. Instead of caving in or lashing out I held my head higher and stood taller, allowing myself to bathe in the light of their eyes.
I let myself be wanted.
I let myself win.