The rest of the weekend passes quickly. Kaleb left early Saturday morning, leaving me a note taped to my door as a goodbye. Leo arrived home only an hour or two after Kaleb left. He looked exhausted as always: bloodshot eyes and pale skin. He had a file shoved under his arm and I knew it had something to do with my case. I’d asked him to take a step back, but obviously he didn’t listen.
Monday morning comes, bringing with it another glorious day of government approved torture. This morning’s routine is different though. I actually take the time to make sure my uniform is looking sharp. I straighten my hair and do my makeup light. I even decide to wear my contacts instead of my glasses.
As soon as I step out of my room, I can smell the bacon frying on the stove. I smile as I step into the kitchen to see Leo reading a novel. His eyes are focused on the book in his hand while he absentmindedly pushing the bacon around.
“Hey.” I say, taking a seat behind the island.
Leo’s eyes snap up to mine, startled, “Oh, good morning, Greer. How’d you sleep?”
“Great.” I nod.
“You look nice this morning, well nicer than usual.” Leo notices. “Anyone you’re trying to impress?”
“Just myself.” I laugh.
“Okay.” He nods and passes me a plate of food.
I clear my throat, “Can I ask you a question?”
“Do you have security cameras?”
Leo’s eyes snap to mine and he stops eating, “Yes. Why? What’s wrong, Greer?”
I shrug, “Nothing. I was just wondering.”
He moves closer, “Greer, talk to me. What’s wrong?”
It’s the utter concern and fear in his voice that makes me come up with an answer, “I’ve just been getting these weird feelings, that’s all. I’m probably just paranoid.”
“What kind of weird feelings?” He asks, his eyebrows knitting together.
I gulp, “Just like this feeling of being watched, like I always have to look over my shoulder. Like I said, I’m being paranoid. It’s probably nothing.”
“It’s not nothing, Greer. You have a right to be paranoid after all that’s happened.” He sighs, running a hand across his face. “I’ll look over the tapes and up the security.”
“Thanks, Leo. That would make me feel a lot better.” I give him a small smile.
“I don’t like you home alone with you feeling this way. I’ll bring my work home.” He stands to his feet, crossing the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee.
“You don’t have to. I’m fine, I promise.”
“It’s no problem.” He tells me, looking at his watch. “You should get going, don’t want to be late. I’ll be here when you get home from school.”
I get up from my chair and walk over to my uncle. “Alright, I’ll see you later.” I hug him quickly before gathering up my things and heading for the door.
Once I step onto the front porch, I instantly stop in my tracks. A black classic Mustang is parked out front. Leaning against the paint is Kaleb Nixon. He’s wearing his usual leather jacket and a pair of black sunglasses cover his blue-gray eyes. He smiles at me as soon as he sees me.
I smile back, crossing the driveway to stand in front of him, “What are you doing here?”
He pushes up from the paint to stand closer to me. He pushes his sunglasses up from his eyes. I see his gaze flick back to my house and then back to me again. He leans forward quickly and kisses me. “So, I can do that.”
I blink and smile brighter, “That’s all?”
“Yep, I’ll just get going now.” He smirks and turns around to step back towards his car.
“Kaleb!” I laugh.
He turns around to face me again, “I’m kidding, well kind of. I came to see if you wanted a ride?”
“Oh my gosh, no way! The Kaleb Nixon is offering me a ride in his Mustang!” I say in a fake high, squeaky voice.
“Okay, fine, no ride for you.” He walks to the drives door and opens it up.
“Oh, come on! I was kidding.” I laugh.
“Fine, one more chance. Get in the car.” He tells me.
I laugh again and slip into the passenger’s seat. The leather embraces me and I instantly smell the car freshener. My eyes skirt around the inside. I’ve never seen anyone with such a clean car before. Kaleb starts the engine; a rock station plays over the speakers.
“This is such a cool car. I think I like it more than I like you.” I tease.
He laughs, “Thanks, it was my fathers. It’s actually the only thing I liked about the S.O.B.”
I study him a moment, seeing the anger that crosses his face as soon as he mentions his father. Kaleb’s parents are a tough topic for him. His mom’s dead like mine is, but he blames his father for what happened. He has a reason to, Kaleb’s father had been drunk driving with his mom and Kaleb in the car. Kaleb’s dad went to prison for it. According to Irene, he was never getting out.
We arrive at school before I know it, Kaleb pulls into a front parking spot. I see a few people checking his car out. I don’t open the door right away, nerves instantly rack my body. This is the first time Kaleb and I will be seen together-together. The last girl he’d been with was Olivia. I knew as soon as she got word that I rode to school with Kaleb, she’d be out for blood. She’d made it very clear that Kaleb was off limits.
“You ready?” Kaleb asks, seeing my hesitation.
“Yeah, sorry. I’m just a little nervous.”
“You should be, every girl in this school is going to be jealous of you.” He laughs.
“You’re such a jerk.” I roll my eyes and step out of the car. Kaleb follows me and rounds the car to stand next to me. I’m instantly aware of the eyes that are on me. It’s something straight out of a movie and I wonder why anyone bothers to care.
Kaleb snakes his arm around my neck and pulls me in close. His lips brush against my ear, “Don’t worry about them, dork. They’re just jealous of you.”
I punch him playfully in the side, “Gosh, you’re humble, aren’t you?”
He laughs and leads me into school. My nerves relax some once I realize people aren’t paying us any attention anymore. Kaleb stops us at my locker and he leans against the metal to study me. “What are you doing after school?”
I pull my text book from the shelf and peer over at him, “Nothing.”
“Good.” He smirks. “Want to go out for dinner?”
"Dinner?” I question.
“Yeah, the meal you have at the end of the day?”
“I know what you said.”
“Okay, then that’s a yes?”
I nod quickly, “Fine.”
He leans down to kiss me on the cheek, “Wear something nice.” He starts to walk away before I can question him.
“Where are you going? Class is that way!” I call after him.
He turns around and smirks, “I’m skipping school.”
I can’t even protest before he disappears back out the front doors.