Chapter Three: Amorous Psittacisms
"I do all to fall in love with a girl like you.
Cause you can't run and you can't hide.
You and me gonna touch the sky. "
- "Mambo Number 5" by Lou Bega
Even though I made a quick exit, the rest of my class soon poured out, clogging the hallway. I leaned against the wall opposite the door, waiting for my friends.
Three giggling girls made their way over to me. I turned my head slightly and smiled, thinking that this would be interesting.
They came closer and I recognized the middle one as Scarlet. Well, scratch that three giggling girls. Scarlet was not giggling and if she ever did, I might just have a heart attack. The other two I hadn't the foggiest.
"I didn't know you and Dorrison were far enough in your relationship to show public displays of affection," Scarlet said by way of greetings. Oh, this was going to be interesting, just not the kind I had expected.
"Our relationship is a friendship, we just happen to not bother repressing our emotions like other men."
A renewed and louder fit of giggles held the other two girls.
"Price, calling yourself and that person 'men' disgraces the human race."
"Am I really that horrible, Scarlet?" I asked quietly and leaned forward off the wall so that my shoulders were no longer making contact with it. Her look told me that I was, and I felt the corners of my mouth smile.
She had always been rude, mean, and the only girl that wouldn't fall for me. Ironically, she was the only girl who had kept and held my attention over the years. Even though she is the kind of person most people would love to hurt, I was always so happy to see her.
To keep myself from being hurt, I had to act as though she wasn't that important to me.
Sure, we talked, but we weren't exactly nice. I suppose you could call us friends, but only if it was convenient to one of us. The phrase: "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer," matched us well. It matched perfectly, except for that part where I had this overwhelming attraction to her. That didn't fit the puzzle at all.
"You're worse than horrible," she spat, "You're vain, arrogant, rude and too dumb to know what an insult is. Even if you figured out the purpose of the dictionary, you'd be too busy performing stunts and pranks to have time to look it up. It hurts my eyes to look at you." She strode away, her hips swinging from side to side in that sultry way, while her two girlfriends gaped after her, horrified.
"I'm sorry Max, I don't know what's gotten into her lately," one apologized and then both ran to catch up.
"Scarlet!" I called, not bothering to turn my head to look at her. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her stop and turn slightly.
"Friday. You wanna go out?" Wait, what? This was the part where I supposed to say something witty and smart-ass. I wasn't supposed to ask her out! And what was with this nonchalant conversation? I wasn't even looking at her!
Struck dumb by my own question, I could only wait for her reaction. The girl who had apologized gasped. I guess I wasn't the only person shocked.
I usually only mingled and flirted. I wasn't a dater and I sure as hell wasn't one to get into a relationship with, it wouldn't be good for me or the girl. Let's just say my eyes wander and I have commitment issues. But, if it was Scarlet... then I would try.
"Certainly, Price. Pick me up at 6:30 sharp on Friday." Then she turned the corner, and I caught two last beats of the swinging of her hips.
That girl was unbelievable in so many ways.
I heard a cat call. Neil had exited the classroom, and seen the whole thing, gauging by the smile on his face. He was giving me two thumbs up.
"Cheers!" he exclaimed. "Snagging the Reclusive One!"
I boasted, "It was nothin'." Then I looked to Drew, interested in his reaction, and, I'll be damned. He wasn't even looking at me. His gaze was fixed at the end of the hall where the three girls had turned the corner, his eyes misted over.
Neil noticed me noticing him. We gave each other a puzzled look.
"Oi! Earth to Drew!" he sang, waving his hand in the boy's face.
"What?" he snapped, grabbing the object that had invaded his personal space - Neil's hand - to the owner's side.
"You spaced out," Adrian said, unfazed by the sudden change in mood. He had emanated out of the classroom along with the other students and quietly stood on the other side of the doorway. I hadn't noticed him there, so his comment made me jump a bit.
"What were you looking at, mate?" Neil asked, looking puzzled.
"Huh? Oh, err... nothing! I was just-"
"C'mon, Neil," said Adrian, grabbing hold of his sleeve and tugging him along. "We need to get to class."
"What? But I was -"
"See you soon, Drew, Max." Adrian said with a wave of his free hand as he walked down the hall.
I grinned. Adrian's timing was impeccable. Hmm, on second thought that might have been on purpose. I shook my head, smiling wryly.
I gave Drew a couple seconds so he could redeem the right color of complexion.
After about four, I said, "Well, Dwuu-Dwuu, shall we make our merry way to mathematics?"
He glared at me and flushed angrily, which would give him an excuse as to why he was red. Hey, I'm just looking out for the guy, he's not ever going to admit he was blushing. "If you ever call me that again, I'll snap off your hand."
"Which one?" I asked in a cheerful way. Ooo, I was actually making him grind his teeth. Damn, I'm good.
"It doesn't matter. The one you write with."
I ignored his threats. The little guy could try, but I doubt he could overpower me. On second thought, he could probably get at me during the night. It probably wasn't a good idea to piss off my roommate. "So, to math?" I asked happily.
His mood flopped faster than three fat kids can make a skinny kid go flying on a see-saw. "Let's go!" He yelled cheerfully, looping his arm through mine and started skipping down the hallway.
I couldn't help but laugh and soon I was skipping too, well knowing that both of us knew we looked like fools and not caring a bit.
I avoided glancing at him and he did the same. This was one of those moments where if you looked at that person, they would make you crack up for absolutely no reason at all except that you knew you were both being idiots.
Not that I cared, actually. I just didn't want to get a detention for being late to second hour.
Although, I doubt any teacher had the balls to give me or Drew a detention with me being the superintendent's son, and Drew being the heir of a hotel chain and other businesses I'm sure he didn't even know about. He had money, and money likes to sue people.
When we arrived at our room's door on the second floor, our arms unanimously went back to our sides.
I reached out to open the door when Drew said, "Hey do you remember that bet we had?"
I pulled an Adrian-brow-expression that said 'Which one?' Well, seriously. There are a lot of bets between us. I wouldn't say we were gamblers so much as people who like the most out of a situation. I can't keep all the bets straight in my head, which is why I have a palm notebook with records of them, which... I had left at home. Damn. I would just have to hope he wasn't making one up on me. Not that it was unfair, because I had done the same to him. You see, this is the true definition of making the most out of a situation.
"You know," he said encouragingly, "the one where if you didn't fall asleep in math, I'd drink the fountain water, but if you did you would have to not flirt with anyone for an entire."
"Anyone? Not just girls?"
"You said anyone."
"Crap!" I bit my lip, thinking. "I made this a random time bet?"
"Yup, and I'm calling you on it now."
I sighed, not seeing any way to say no. There was a good chance Drew had just made this up, but even if he had, I would still do it. After all, it was a random time bet. "Well, if there's any chance of me staying awake, it involves torturing the teacher and the possibility of detention. You game?"
He shook a mildly reprimanding finger at me, "I'm not the one who has to stay awake, and I hope you do fall asleep. I'm going to be comfortably taking a nap in the back row, avoiding questions, passing the class (he gave me a derisive look), and staying out of trouble. Have fun being conscious with front row seats." He put his hand on the doorknob.
"Wait! Front row was part of the deal?"
The little devil turned back towards me, a very familiar expression on his face.
"No," he said with a sing-song lilt and an evil feline smile, "But you wanna raise the stakes?"
"Yeah." I sneered at him. "I get to video tape you drinking the water of my chosen fountain and the time you drink it, while on your part, I have to wear a belt and tuck in my shirt."
"Hmm." Drew chewed on a finger for a few seconds.
"Deal," he said, shaking my hand.
"Allow me to welcome you to my second hell," I declared, opening the door and flourishing with an arm for him to enter.
He managed to keep a straight face and gave me a regal nod as he strode past.
I followed after him and stopped, deciding where exactly to sit. Two pretty girls were in the front now, and they were watching me intently. I flashed them a dazzling smile and sat down in the seat between them, one having scooted over to make room.
Somewhere in the back of the room, I heard a disapproving snort.
Just because I had a date t didn't this week mean I couldn't do some harmless flirting. I still wasn't attached. And honestly, I needed to get as much flirting as I could out of my body, in the more-than-likely case I lost this bet.
I ignored that snort.
I stretched my arms around the back of the girls' chairs. "It saddens me that I seem to not recall you two gorgeous ladies' names. Perhaps you could refresh my memory?" I pleaded, although I actually did know who they were.
The one on my left giggled and the one on my right smiled dazzlingly at me.
"My name's Adelaide Sommer and this is my sister, Analise Sommer." Ah, the Sommer twins. They were identical in everything except for their personality and their hair. Okay, so not very identical at all. You shut up.
Adelaide had short blonde hair, long bangs, and the back styled into a series of spikes. Analise's hair grew past her shoulders in spiraling curls of fair twists.
I let out a gasp of surprise. "The Sommers? I've heard about you but never had your name identified with your beautiful faces. What a pleasure to meet both of you!"
Analise giggled again.
Adelaide, however, seemed to switch tracks and was indifferent. So her politeness only lasts for so long, I thought. "Everyone had to introduce themselves on the first day of school, Price."
I rested my hand on her cheek, "It was the first day of school, second hour when Neil and I were decorating Mr. Decleus's motorbike."
"Oh," she managed to say, blushing slightly at my touch.
I smiled a little at her and removed my hand, resting it back on her chair, but allowing my knuckles to ghost along her neck, shoulders, arm on its way there. She didn't seem to notice, or if she did, she didn't say anything. She was too busy staring at me. I smirked inside.
Analise gasped on the other side. "That was you?!" she whispered loudly.
I pressed a forefinger to my lips, "Don't tell anyone." I winked. She giggled cutely again.
Adelaide's gaze turned hard. "I doubt you and Neil would have had the gall to pull something like that off."
"Really?" I said, amused by her skepticism. She crooked an eyebrow. "There's a reason you ladies didn't hear that it was us until now, and that's because we keep things quiet. Entrepreneur's endeavor of protection technique, understand?" I raised both brows once, and both sisters pinked slightly.
"Mr. Decleus was very angry, I heard, when he found his motorbike that way," Analise said this in that tone people use when they want the speaker to explain more but not have to ask a question. I took this to mean she wanted to know the decorative compliments we added to the bike.
"Well, it's not our fault if Mr. Decleus doesn't value our fashion sense. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, after all."
Adelaide seemed to regain her icy composure,. "I hardly think chopping a fake," she glanced at Analise for a moment. The other twin's expression hardened and Adelaide smiled lightly, "cock in two ("Adelaide, don't say things like that!") and stapling it to his helmet can be called 'fashion sense'."
Analise stared angrily at Adelaide, her expression the definition of castigation. The obedient child from heaven didn't like her rebel sister having such temerity.
Oh yes, I had heard of the Sommers.
"Super-glue, actually." I smirked. "Did you hear about anything else?"
"No, I didn't." They said together, and then glanced at each other uneasily.
Perhaps, they wished they didn't fight so much. Saying statements in unison was definitely a signature twin-thing. A sort of thing that meant the twins got along and understood each other. I could tell there was some sort of conflict between the two, one that had been going on for a long time. I hoped they would be able to sort it out.
"Well, my dears," I said, continuing with my tale, "We also spray-painted "In Honor of Your Surname" on his windshield. The focal point of the thing of course, was when we bleached his fine Italian leather seat. What a beauty, that part was."
"Maxi, whatever did you do?" Analise whispered conspiratorially, or at least what I think she thought was one. I doubt she'd ever been part of a real conspiracy. She was just too nice and law-abiding.
"It was arranged in such an order that the portions of unbleached leather and bleached leather summed up one word: Dickless."
At first, it looked like the angel was going to give me a nice, long lecture about the correct vocabulary to use in public places and that the rebel was going to laugh. However, there was no such sanctuary.
Their reactions switched.
Adelaide clouted me and then she just started in with Analise, who had burst into a fit of adorable giggles. Then she poked my shoulder roughly. "You shouldn't say words like that in front of girls," she said sternly, but her pale blue eyes twinkled in amusement.
This was when I decided to see how charming I was.
I twirled my fingers in her curly hair, "But to me, Analise, you're not most girls."
She blushed brightly and batted my hand away with an embarrassed "Max!"
I smiled at her and placed my hand at the back of the seat once more, the safe spot for not pushing anything and yet continuing to show interest.
Changing the subject I asked, "Do you know what's for lunch today?"
"You're not hungry already, are you?" The older twin asked.
I grinned sheepishly at her, "I regret to say, that like most teenage boys, I have a bottomless pit for a stomach."
She laughed at that but her younger twin seemed concerned and brought out her oversized pink purse, digging through it for only God knows what.
This was something you never, ever asked a woman about: the confines of their purse. It was a sacred stash away that only other woman were allowed to ask for one object or another. Men were generally strictly forbidden. This was something I didn't understand, not one bit, but I accepted it and respected it.
An angry girl with a big purse and lots of potentially heavy or hard objects stowed inside was a dangerous creature.
"Um, I have a cookie in here somewhere if you like them." She pulled out a mega-sized snickerdoodle. You know, one of those that are so big they could be a small pizza. I didn't need to act. I was genuinely surprised. How could a cookie be put into a purse and not turn into crumbles? It was probably a secret of the purse that I would never understand.
Bringing out my hand from its resting place, I propped my chin upon it and tilted my head, looking at her with subtle begging in my eyes. "I could never accept that cookie and eat it, unless...." I lowered my voice and tilted my head to the other side, "Unless you were to feed it to me."
Now she blushed as red as Mr. Decleus's motorbike.
"M- M- Max!" she gasped.
I saw her twin roll her eyes at me and turn her attention to the front of the room, expecting our teacher to show, presumably. Well, fine, if she wanted to ignore me, that was okay. I liked her younger twin better anyway.
However, it was quite meaningless for her to wait for our teacher to show. The man was known for his extraordinarily tardy habits. The administration actually didn't allow him to have a first hour class, for he had routinely missed it and half of second until they let him pick his own hours. With another teacher, they would have just fired him, but for some reason, they pardoned anything he did without question.
Mr. Sinclaire was indeed the laziest teacher we had.
For reasons I didn't understand, he enraptured the girls. I thought he had the strangest appearance. The guy had white hair and a scarred face for chrissakes! How was that attractive? His personality was crap, too. He was probably the coolest teacher we had, despite his flaws.
But him and I didn't get along.
I leaned over to Adelaide and whispered, "Don't act too happy when he walks in, or he may think you have some feelings for him."
She spun around, nearly knocking my head off.
"Who?" She asked innocently, but the effect was somewhat marred by her tomboy appearance. Being friends with Jamie had given me some very strong impressions on what tomboys were and were not. Innocent was in the second category. That was what my inner side of me thought.
The outer part just rolled my eyes.
"'Who?' she asks. Our beautiful, cunning and sexy Mr. Sinclaire, who else?" I sneered, my mocking tone carrying around the room.
A door to one of the closets opened.
"I find it quite interesting that you think so, Price," said a mid-tone, pleasant voice.
I groaned inwardly. The devil of my second hell had arrived.