“AVA WAKE UP!” Grayson yelled.
“What’s wrong?” I sprung from my bed, alert.
“HE RANG ME.” Grayson yelled, jumping around my room.
“Who rang you?” I asked, disorientated.
“DONAVAN CARTER FROM COLTON ACADEMY.″ He jumped up and down.
“OMG!” I screamed.
“We’re celebrate over breakfast, and go get ready.” I hurried him out of my room.
I quickly showered as fast as I could. I couldn’t wait to hear about the phone call Grayson had this morning. Throwing on a plain black t-shirt and striped black and white pants, I threw my hair in a high ponytail and applied the minimal makeup of mascara and lip-gloss.
“Ready!” Grayson beamed at my bedroom door.
“Can you pass my white shoes over there please?” I asked, putting some socks on.
“Thank you.” I slipped them on after he handed them to me, “Let’s go.“.
We went to a little diner close by, the smile on Grayson’s lips never fading as he spoke about the phone call he received.
“He want’s an interview with our parents and said he’d send an email with more details but he said he’d love for me to start as soon as possible.” He said, stuffing pancakes into his mouth.
“When would you like to start?” I asked quietly.
“I don’t think now is the right time, maybe I can start next year, I don’t want to leave you.” He said, his eyes full of worry.
“No, it’s the best time, tell him you will be there as soon as he can get you in.” I said, mustering up my biggest smile for him.
This was the best timing, if what Maceo and Christopher told me was true then I could get Grayson away and safe. He’d also be attending his dream school so it was perfect timing for the both of us. I won’t tell Grayson anything regarding the offer because it will only worry him more. Even though I’ll miss him like crazy, I’m sure I’d see him every break they had.
“Av, I really don’t mind hanging back a year, I can’t leave you by yourself.” He said, squeezing my hand comforting.
“Grayson I’ll be fine by myself, plus this is a big opportunity and it’s something mum and dad would be so proud of, so you have to go.” I smiled sadly.
“You’re sure?” His bright blue eyes held so much care and happiness.
“I’m more than sure but at least give me a week with you before you leave me.” I rubbed at my eyes.
We went home later that day and it turns out one of Grayson’s friends he had gotten close to over the short amount of time we’ve been here, also got offered a scholarship so he was even happier as they both agreed to start at the same time, two weeks from today.
“Donavan want’s an interview with our parents, how are we going to get Gran to come to it? You know she won’t come.” Grayson said, his face dropping into a frown.
“Don’t worry, I have it covered.” I smiled, pulling him into my side.
Our grandmother is a miserable git, she doe’s nothing but watches TV all day. She isn’t the nicest person but I’m grateful she didn’t put us into the system; once I am old enough I will claim full custody of my brother. I didn’t know how I was going to pull off this interview without our guardian present but I had to figure out a way.
“When is the Interview?” I asked, looking over his shoulder at the email he had received.
“Tuesday or Wednesday, we can pick which day and what time, we just have to ring to confirm.” He said nervously.
“What day would you like to go?” I asked, smiling down at him.
“Tuesday, I have a test at school on Wednesday.”
“Tuesday it is, I’ll ring them and set the interview.” I said, walking out of the kitchen and up to my room to make the phone call.
“Hey, you never showed yesterday.” Zade stared down at me, his face in a slight frown.
“Sorry, I completely forgot.” I said, slapping my forehead and turning my body towards him.
“It’s okay, I’m glad we never scared you away.” He chuckled, his face softening.
“Mmm I’m still deciding if I should run.” I teased, tapping my bottom lip with my index finger.
“Don’t.” He said instantly, his arms resting on my shoulders as he played with my hair.
His scent hit my nose, intoxicating and comforting.
“Is Jaylin and Christopher still here?” I asked, changing the subject.
“No they left last night but they’ll be back in a week or so.” He replied, his arms slipping from my shoulders.
“Okay.” I nodded, shutting my locker.
Zade took my textbooks I had clutched to my chest and held his free hand out to me.
“I’d love to stand here all day while you stare at me with your warm beautiful eyes but we have a class to get to.” Zade said, his voice strong and playful.
Blushing at his words and embarrassment, I ran my fingers along his before he laced his with mine, my hand fitting into his perfectly.
We walked to AP English, the soft smile never leaving Zade’s lips, my blush never leaving my cheeks.
“Morning Ms. Vice.” Mr. F called out without looking up from his papers, knowing I always walked into class at this time.
“Oh morning Mr. Noels.” Mr. F said after finally looking up, his eyes landing on our entwined hands.
“Morning.” I called out softly.
Zade grumbled a ‘good morning’ before he tugged me over to our seats where Blaine and the rest sat.
Zade Noels, I imagine it would roll off my tongue so smoothly. I thought.
Kenna was the first to spot us, her eyes darting to our joined hands, her glare replacing the hurt look she had on her face second before.
I knew she liked Zade so being the considerate person I was, I tugged my hand away from Zade’s and nudged him to look at Kenna, in hopes to make him realize we’re making her uncomfortable.
He soon smiled down at me, his eyes flashing with adoration?
“Hey.” I waved at the two tables.
The boys beamed back before returning to their quiet conversations.
“She hates me.” I nodded towards Kenna as she finally stopped glaring at me.
“She doesn’t, don’t worry about her too much.” Blaine and Silas said, smiling down at me.
“Okay.” I sunk deeper into my chair.
Zade played with my hands that lay on top of my desk, if it was anyone else I would have pulled my hands away without regret but Zade’s touch was addictive. He and the other two talked about cars and asked for my opinion every so often, they were surprised I knew so much about cars but I wasn’t really paying attention to their conversation. I was trying to figure out a way to deal with Grayson’s interview tomorrow morning.
“Sit with me at lunch?” Zade asked nervously.
“I promised to sit with your sister.” I smiled as we walked out of class and to my next.
“I’ll sit with you then.” He said, planting a kiss on my knuckles before he, Blaine and Silas disappeared down the hallway to their own class.
My classes passed by slower than normal, everyone stared at me as I sat quietly doing my work and I couldn’t be more than relieved to hear the lunch bell ring.
Slowly making my way through the busy halls, people pushed passed hurriedly to get to their friends. It was sunny out so I knew Nadia would be out on the picnic tables, and sure enough, she was.
Hands snaked their way around my waist, I jumped at the sudden contact but soon relaxed when I saw Zade’s familiar silver ring that sat on his right hand, it was a thick ring with the letter N on it, the rest of the boys in his group also had the same ring but different letters.
“Hey.” He whispered, dropping his hands to his side as we walked over to Nadia and Emma who sat giggling at the both of us.
“Hi, how was Biology?” I smiled up at him.
“Boring, how were your classes?” He asked, his voice soft but his face stoic as he stared down the passing students.
“Boring as well.” I chuckled at his antics.
We sat down at the table with Nadia and Emma, it was awkward at first since the two of them kept whispering between each other. I ate my lunch while Zade sat next to me, Blaine and Silas joined us a little while after and we all engrossed in conversation.
Silas kept side glancing at Nadia as she giggled along with Emma, his eyes gazing. I wiggled my eyebrow at him and he turned away, making me laugh at the tables being turned.
“What do you think I should do with the offer Maceo offered?” I whispered into Zade’s ear, leaning into him.
“I hope you honestly take it, people have their eyes on you and their approach towards you is going to be by force and they will hold your brothers’ safety against you.” He spoke seriously, chills running up my back.
I shift closer to him, his smell and touch comforting me, “Okay.” I breathed.
“Maceo and Christopher like you, they think highly of you.” He smiled, his fingers tucking my hair behind my ear.
“Oh?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Come on, we got to get to gym class.” He held his hand out to me.
I slipped my hand in his and we walked with the others, they all talked among themselves while me, Zade and Blaine remained silent, like always.