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Chapter 26

I was heading up to my room, a stack of books in hand. I had read through half of one of the books, and learnt a lot about Elamantti. For example, there were creatures with skin made of bark and were mostly made of wood and magic. They were wood faeries, as obvious as that seems, and they were a kind of dark earth faerie, which were technically called Delterra. I had seen plenty of these creatures during the attack on the Academy.

There were also lots of different kinds of faeries, sorted into eight categories. There were Delterra, Delairi, Delaqua, Delignai, Lelterra, Lelairi, Lelaqua, and Lelignai. Del meant dark, and Lel meant light. Terra, Airi, Aqua, and, Ignai all represented whatever faerie it meant. So, for example, Ignai meant fire faerie, and Igni just meant fire. The language and history, that I had learned so far, was really interesting, and so was the language. Especially since where I had lived these creatures and worlds were fairy tales.

I made it to my room, and I immediately put my books on my TBR, or to be read, pile. I had at least fifty books in that pile already.

I looked at the time, and saw that it was almost lunch time, so I made my way back down the stairs to the dining hall. When I entered the dining hall I saw Storm sitting at the table. I was debating leaving or just sucking it up and join him, and picked the latter. So I grabbed my mountain of food, and joined Storm.

When he saw me approaching he made eye contact with me. I kept it, and didn’t look away. I could see the thanks in his eyes, although his face was monotone. Thanks for understanding. Thanks for comforting him. Thanks for not mentioning him. I just nodded at him, that it was no problem.

Then we ignored each other for the rest of the meal. Until we got up, at the same time, and headed to our rooms, apart but together at the same time. When we each got to our individual rooms we entered and exited at the same time simultaneously, each in workout clothes. We glanced at each other and I raised an eyebrow in question silently saying You going to work out too? and he nodded back.

We started walking towards the gym, beside each other, and both equally monotone. When we got to the gym we split off and did our own thing until we both got to weights, like the bench press, when we spotted for each other.

It was actually very satisfying to constantly be on each other’s nerves all the time, although we undoubtedly always would be since we were opposites on more things than we were similar. Once we had both finished working out we each grabbed a bottle from the mini fridge in the corner of the gym.

And for once I was actually content. I had a workout buddy, no matter how much we fought and rivaled each other, I had friends, like Camden, and Kalama, and I had an endless supply of books, and physical activity. The only downside was the nightmares. The memories, and the smoking.

I shut down my thoughts, trying not to ruin the good mood I was in.

Then we both headed up to our respective rooms, and I found I was still restless. So I decided to head back down to the gym, boxing gloves, and wraps in hand. When I got back to the gym I wrapped my knuckles, and put on my gloves. Then I got lost in the feeling of the impact of my fist against the punching bag, the feeling reverberating through my arm.

After about thirty minutes of kickboxing I transitioned to other martial arts, and used the heavy bag that wasn’t attached to the ceiling to practice my holds, etc.

Eventually I stopped, coming out of my own little world. The exhaustion caught up to me, and I started panting. I was covered in sweat. Drenched in sweat.

After that I checked the time, and realized that it was around dinner time. I decided to go back to my room to change, and put my gloves and wraps away. I had to pull them off my fingers, the material sticking to them from all their sweat.

When I got back to my room I hung up my gloves and wraps to dry them out. Once I was done that I decided to hop in the shower to wash off all the sweat. I had gotten enough money to get my own soap, so I had gotten the cheapest, most inexpensive soap ever, that still worked with my unruly hair. I didn’t care much what I looked or smelled like, as long as it wasn’t like a homeless person or anything like that.

Halfway through my shower I heard Storm came in and I just rolled my eyes. It was too early to brush his teeth so why the hell was he in here?

He went over to the sink, and reached for the counter where he kept his toothbrush, and, as I liked to call them, his beauty products. I had quickly learned that Storm takes forever in the bathroom, mostly just gelling his hair, although I liked his ruffled just-got-out-of-bed-look. It looked like he reached for his gel, probably having never gelled his hair today.

Eventually, when I was just washing off my body, used to his intrusion of my showers, when he left. Since I had washed everything off, stalling just waiting for him to leave, I decided to step out when I thought he couldn’t see me.

Instead I stepped out, stark naked, and saw him turned around, just closing the door. His eyes widened when he saw me, and he quickly closed the door. I grabbed the towel that I had hung up on a hook by the shower, and wrapped it around my body quickly. I felt the heat running up to my cheeks. God, he had just seen me naked. I saw myself in the large mirror, the sink right in front of the shower. My cheeks were almost fire truck red, the disadvantage of literally being the epitome of fire. I tried to take a few breaths to calm my embarrassment, and looked away from myself when I saw the flush wasn’t going away anytime soon.

I entered my room, quickly going to my closet to find a sweater, and a pair of jogging pants. I slipped on the sweater, although it was a bit short, and pulled on the jogging pants. I slipped on my running shoes, and tried to make sure the blush was off my face before I exited. It still wasn’t going anywhere. So, I schooled my face into indifference, and walked out of my room.

I entered the dining hall a bit late, and noticed that Storm had entered right behind me. No one turned to look at me, as I was the only one who showed up anywhere with casual clothes on instead of the normal private school esque uniforms. The Headmaster had eventually given up telling me not to wear this, and teachers stopped giving out dress code violations, a few people even joining me.

Storm and I headed for the buffet like set up at the same time. The blush was still on my cheeks, but he didn’t comment on it and I could see a slight blush on his. When we reached the buffet I started grabbed a plate, and when I reached up to get something the too-short sweater rose up to show my midriff. Storm’s eyes locked with mine, and we both looked away, both of our blushes intensifying.

I had never seen Storm this awkward. I had never felt this awkward around anyone. But it wasn’t quite awkwardness. It was a mixture of humiliation, self-hate, and sexual tension. I was embarrassed that he had seen me naked, and I hated my body. I hated my scars. And we were both undeniably attracted to each other.

Once we had dished up we both headed for our seats, which was unfortunately right across from each other.

When we sat down Camden immediately said, “Wow, the sexual tension is so thick I would need the sharpest knife to cut through it. Could you guys fuck already?”

I was surprised the Camden had sworn, since he didn’t do it very often, and my blush intensified even more. When I looked at Camden he had a smirk on his face, and I glared at him. He shrank back in his seat jokingly, and I would have hit him if I had bee closer to him.

I saw Storm doing the same thing in my peripheral vision, and he did what I wished I could do. He punched Camden right in the shoulder. Hard.

Camden winced, and whined, “Owww, dude! You didn’t have to hit me so hard!”

“Yes, I did,” Storm said, monotone, “It was very necessary.”

With that I was satisfied, though Camden should beware, and I went back to eating my delicious food.

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