I poked my head around the closet door and suppressed a groan. “Dad, do you think you can’t trust me? I’ve been just fine here by myself.” It almost felt like I was lying. Everything from the night before, K.C. and then the fight, hit me so hard that I wanted nothing more than to punch something.
“I trust you completely …but your grandma doesn’t.” He laughed. “She’s just worried about you being on your own, so she said she’d come by for a few days, possibly a week, and lend a hand. You are still a minor after all, and she keeps watching those news shows like Sex Slaves in the Suburbs. She worries.”
My dad and his mom hated the idea of me practically living alone for three months, but my desire to be in my own school for my senior year won out.
I shimmied into some skinny jeans, slipped a long-sleeved, fitted violet tee over my head, and walked out of the closet.
“If it will put her mind at ease, but as you can see, I’m fine,” I sighed.
“I’m not even sure what the law says about this, actually. You are staying out of trouble, right?” His eyes narrowed at me as I slipped on some black ballet flats. Dad was calm about most things, but trying to parent me from Germany was driving him up the wall. This was the seventh time we’d talked in the past two weeks. With the time difference, that was an accomplishment.
“Of course.” I almost choked on my words. If you could call running out of the house to possibly shoot a couple of street thugs “staying out of trouble…” “And I’ll be eighteen in a couple of weeks. I’m barely a minor anymore.”
“I know.” My dad exhaled wearily. “Alright, I’ll let you go. Just be home for dinner for your grandma tonight.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll call you tomorrow morning. Sound good?”
“Talk to you then. Have a great day, Pumpkin.” And he clicked off.
The breakfast bar and juice box I grabbed before leaving the house held me over during the lab work, but by first bell, the hunger pangs started. Coupled with the fact that K.C. hadn’t shown up or texted back this morning, I rushed in aggravation down the hall to the cafeteria for a vending machine run before class.
My concentration was flying in five different directions this morning. I’d forgotten to run to the hardware store for supplies last night, so the research I’d wanted to accomplish this morning turned out to be very little. After I broke a beaker and damn near burned my hand with the Bunsen burner, I’d cleared out of the lab before I killed myself.
My jaw ached from clenching my teeth all morning. Images of K.C.’s legs hugging Jared’s h*ps on the motorcycle kept assaulting me. “What if’s” of what would have happened last night if that knife had sliced Jared’s neck or stomach instead of his arm flashed through my mind.
Rounding the corner, I immediately halted.
K.C. leaned against the yellow wall next to the cafeteria doors, while Jared leaned into her. His arm was posted to the wall above her head, and his head was dipped, bringing his lips within inches of hers. The white top she wore rode up to reveal a sliver of skin as Jared’s thumb caressed her softly while holding her hip.
He said something against her lips, and K.C.’s chest rose and fell in deep breaths.
My heart pounded, and heat rushed through my body. I watched him finally catch her lips with his. He slowly pulled her body to him, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Nausea rose in my throat, and my eyes burned. K.C. looked like she was at a buffet, savoring all of the desserts one bite at a time.
Wait, what? I should be mad at him, if not more so than K.C., then at least equally. Jared had pursued her, and I knew, with all certainty, that it was to hurt me. Why did I want her off of him instead of him off of her?
Luckily, nearly everyone was already in class. Otherwise, they’d be putting on quite a show. I was their only audience.
As I glanced to them again, Jared’s lips were still devouring her. He nibbled at her mouth before moving on to her neck, achieving a groan of pleasure from her. Her eyes were closed, and she bit her bottom lip, showing that she was putty in his hands. He did look like a good kisser, and I was breathless with the ache in my chest. I flinched when I saw the delicate way he buried his lips behind her ear.
The second bell sounded. We had one minute to get to class. K.C. jumped and giggled at the interruption. Jared gave her a smirk before tapping her on the tip of the nose. As she turned to run to class, he gave her a light slap on the ass.
I dashed back around the corner. If he didn’t follow her, then he was coming this way. I definitely didn’t want him to know I’d witnessed their display. My anger fed his hunger, and I didn’t want to lose my cool around him.
“Hey, man.” I heard Madoc’s voice as he barged through the cafeteria doors. “Was that K.C. that ran off? You haven’t tapped that yet?”
Jared exhaled a small laugh as their footsteps came closer. “Who’s saying I haven’t?”
I swallowed hard.
“Uh, because you’ve never been seen with girl after you’ve f**ked her. I doubt you even wait until the condom’s off before forgetting their names.”
Jared stopped just in front of the stairs across from the darkened doorway where I’d hidden. He knit his brows together in surprise. “And you do?” he asked defensively, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. His white t-shirt and black thermal hung loose over his torso.