Hope Springs

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Chapter 4

Chemistry, Honors Algebra 2, Psychology, and French 2 all seemed like they would be interesting and much easier that AP American History. Psychology would probably be one of my favorite classes, although French 2 also seemed like it would be pretty fun. Lunch rolled around and I was pleased to see that they had an extensive lunch menu. For lunch I had selected a chicken sandwich, a salad and a fruit salad. I wasn’t one of those girls who was normally self-conscious about her weight, but almost all of the girls here were stunning beautiful and extremely fit and so I was slightly intimidated.

I looked around the lunchroom and after finding that Hadley was sitting with Raven, Rhea and an assorted group of people that I didn’t know, I elected to sit by myself. Just as I began to start eating a tray plopped down onto the table beside me and I jumped, glancing to see who had set their tray there. To my surprise it was Hadley, and standing beside her were all the people who had been sitting at her table.

“Can we sit here,” Hadley asked and I nodded, still a little stunned. Raven and Rhea took a seat at the table across from me and a cute boy with brown eyes sat beside Hadley, slinging an arm across her shoulder and kissing her cheek. Two more boys joined us and one more girl sat as well. “Trinity this is my ma-boyfriend Alexander, you already know Rhea and Raven, that’s Raven’s boyfriend Keith,” she indicated the Asian boy, “Rhea’s brother Josh,” she pointed at the blonde hair with green eyes, “and finally, Josh’s girlfriend Anya.” She pointed to the redhead who had joined our table. “Everyone this is Trinity, I met her at Claire’s.”

“Hi,” Alexander said, smiling at me, “Nice to meet you.”

I flushed under their stares and murmured a quiet greeting back and Hadley smiled.

“How long have you lived in Hope Springs,” Raven inquired, leaning into Keith’s side and Keith smiled down at her adoringly.

“This is my third year living here,” I answered and Rhea spoke up, asking why this was my first year at the high school. “I was homeschooled for freshman and sophomore year,” I explained, “My parents both knew I didn’t want to be thrust into the change of environment so they gave me time to adjust to living in a new place.”

“Where did you live before then,” Raven asked and I shifted in my seat as she added, “And why did you move?”

“I uh lived in Summer Falls before here,” I answered fidgeting, “And my Dad got a better job offer I guess.”

“That’s funny,” Raven commented, “Most of the better job offers are in Summer Falls.”

I opened my mouth to reply when Hadley gave Raven a glare and said in a flat voice, “Knock it off Raven.”

Keith tensed and Raven stared at Hadley for a moment locking eyes with the blonde girl. Hadley rose one eyebrow and Raven narrowed her eyes before looking away and cursing under her breath and Alexander brought Hadley closer to him, giving Keith his own look.

Rhea gave a fake laugh, “Anyways, we’re glad that you’re here.” She smiled, “So what do you think of the high school so far?”

I paused for a moment, trying to decide what I could say. I finally settle with saying, “It’s big. How many students go here?”

“About one-thousand, I guess,” Hadley answered, “But we do host kindergarten through seniors so that’s a big factor in the large numbers. Because it’s so big though we have another school building."

“That’s what those buildings beside the school were,” I asked and Hadley nodded with a small smile.

“Yeah. One-thousand in one building could become a little crowded. This is also the only high school, middle school and elementary school in the city so practically every kid goes here. The two buildings are a pain to upkeep but it’s definitely worth it.” Hadley answered and I furrowed my brow about to ask why there were so many kids when the city had to have only about six-hundred thousand adults. But Hadley beat me to it, “A lot of families have more than one kid. Rhea’s family alone has twelve kids. My family has eight, and Alex’s family has seven.”

“Wow,” I said, “That is a lot.”

Hadley nodded her head in agreement. When I didn’t say anything else she struck up a conversation with Anya and Josh while Rhea and Raven conversed quietly, and Keith played with Raven’s hair. I remained silent for the rest of lunch, just observing as they talked with each other. Typically I was outgoing but I guess I was still feeling a little nervous and so was shyer than I would normally be. The doors to the cafeteria opened and a tall, muscular boy walked in. I couldn’t see him that well but from what I could tell he was very handsome. I could tell that his hair was very dark but it wasn’t black and he seemed to be six foot at the very least.

Hadley stood up and shouted, “Max!”

His head snapped towards us and he began making his way towards us, giving me the chance to continue observing him. He was wearing dark colored jeans, a black tee shirt and a black zip up hoodie. I rested my chin on my hand watching how both Alexander, Keith and Josh tilted their heads at him and how Anya ducked her head and Raven and Rhea both gave him nods before they too lowered their eyes. Hadley was the only one who didn’t shrink away from him. I eyed him once more and just as I was about to look away he looked at me. Blue eyes met golden-brown and he stared at me, his eyes running over my body.

He took a deep breath and tensed, clenching his jaw. He looked at Hadley and she scooted over. He walked away from the end of the table and neared us. My breath caught as he gracefully sat between Hadley and I. My cheeks flushed and I looked away from him, looking at the wall before my eyes were drawn back to him.

“I’m Max Judge,” He murmured extending his hand for me to shake and I took it in mine gently, trying not to gasp as sparks erupted from where our skin touched. His voice turned husky, “And you are?”

“Trinity,” I answered and he smiled, slowly releasing my hand.

“You got a last name Trinity,” He seemed to purr my name and I resisted the urge to shiver. He was so hot but he was also mysterious and I generally shied away from people who were mysterious and who seemed to emit the dangerous and bad boy vibe that he did.

“Yes I do,” I answered, and he grinned.

“Are you going to tell us it,” He murmured, leaning closer to me and I leaned away. Despite how hot he was and how my body wanted to draw closer to him, I was wary and my mind prevented me from moving any closer.

“Fine,” I rolled my eyes, scooting back a little once more. “Walters. Trinity Walters. Happy?”

“Ecstatic,” He answered, before winking at me and turning to Hadley, engaging in conversation with her.

I furrowed my eyebrows, staring at the two before my mind put the pieces together. He was her cousin. I sighed, placing my arms on the table and resting my head on them. I felt a hand brush against my forehead and I flinched, my eyes shooting to the person who had touched me and I sighed when I saw it was Rhea.

She saw the unspoken apology in my eyes and rested her hand against my forehead. “Sorry I scared you Trinity,” Rhea murmured and Max looked at her, tensing slightly, “But you are really warm. Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”

“Yeah,” I answered, “I feel fine. I wasn’t feeling warm.”

“Well you are,” Rhea answered matter of factly, “You’re like burning.”

“Maybe you should go the office and have your temperature taken,” Hadley suggested, and I shook my head.

“No, I can’t,” I murmured, “I have to be able to go to the diner. I need that job.”

“I know,” Hadley answered, her voice soft and patient, “But if you are getting sick Claire, wouldn’t want you to show up and have you risk getting worse or have you possibly get someone else sick. If you do have a fever and have to go home then I’ll just tell her that you had a really bad fever and that you couldn’t make it but that you should still have the job, okay? Just please go to the office and get your temperature taken.”

I narrowed my eyes and thought about disagreeing but I knew it wasn’t worth it. Hadley and Rhea would only continue to try to persuade me to go to the office and so I reluctantly agreed. I stood up and swayed slightly, suddenly overcome with a feeling of extreme dizziness. Max stood up and reached out to steady me and sparks once again erupted from where we were touching. Rhea stood up as well and made her way over to me.

“Max will you help me take her to the office,” Rhea suggested and Max looked at her before nodding.

Rhea wrapped her arm around my waist and Max stayed by my side, making sure that Rhea could handle my weight. After a few moments Max scooped me into his arms, apparently deciding that we were taking too long and Rhea brushed my hair away from my forehead. “Careful she might be sick,” Rhea warned him as we walked to the office and Rhea opened the door.

The receptionist looked surprised upon seeing us but quickly recovered and called for the nurse who appeared in seconds with a thermometer clutched in her hand. She placed the thermometer above my forehead and moved it around a little bit before holding it in place. After a few minutes the thermometer beeped and the nurse looked at it.

“One hundred and two point six degrees,” The nurse announced, “I’m sorry to say that you are going to have to go home Trinity.”

I huffed. I didn’t have a ride home. Dad didn’t get off work until three and it was only one thirty-five. Max adjusted me in his arms and I could feel my eyes starting to slip close.

“Max and I will take her home Mrs. Michaels,” Rhea said, “Come on Max let’s go.”
A strange growling sound came from Max and Rhea sighed before basically asking Max if we could go. He nodded and we headed outside. The cold wind buffeted my cheeks and I shivered, bringing myself closer to Max trying to absorb his body heat. There was another cold blast of wind and I shivered. I was glad when we had crossed the parking lot and had finally arrived at a red colored Jeep. Rhea opened the back door and Max set me on the seats before taking off his jacket and placing it over my shoulders. I managed to give him a feeble smile. Maybe he wasn’t as suspicious as I had initially thought.

He gently shut the door, a small smile falling onto his face as I slid my arms through the sleeves of his jacket and zipped it up. I rested my head on the cool glass of the window as Rhea climbed into the driver’s seat and started the car. Shortly after the car started Max had also entered the Jeep. He twisted around in his seat to stare at me his eyes alight with concern.

“Are you going to be okay Trinity,” He asked, his voice filled with concern and I nodded my head before frowning a bit. “What’s wrong?”
“I left my sketchbook at school,” I whispered, and Max smiled a bit.

“I’ll run in and go get it since we haven’t left yet,” Max murmured and I smiled at him.

My eyes slowly fluttered shut after he had left the Jeep and despite Rhea talking to me I fell asleep.



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