All of my thoughts banished when my eyes met his. Warmth spread throughout my body and I felt a tingling sensation running down my spine.
I wanted to go to him, to talk to him, to touch him. I just didn’t understand why.
He wasn’t only attractive. He was… Perfect.
He was looking directly at me as well. His eyes, which I couldn’t decide if they were a shade of blue or gray, were piercing through any self-control I had created.
After he had his fill of looking at every detail in my face, he slowly began to scan my body from head to toe.
I couldn’t help but do the same to him.
His messily styled hair complimented his chiseled features really well. His lean but muscular frame was almost too much to take in. Even though we weren’t close to each other, there was something about the air surrounding him that felt strong, powerful.
His entire figure was imposing, and for some reason, that appealed to me in ways I couldn’t even begin to understand.
I truly felt hypnotized by him.
I didn’t realize I’d stopped walking until Jared turned around and called my name.
I snapped out of the trance he had me in and turned to face Jared.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, giving Jared a smile and heading toward my seat.
He hadn’t stopped looking at me, but no one else at the table seemed to pay attention.
“Who is she?” I heard him ask Jared in a condescending tone.
“This is Cassidy. Cass, this is Layton,” Jared introduced us, motioning between the very good looking guy and me.
“Why is she sitting here?” Layton was speaking to Jared but glaring at me.
His question caught me off guard. I kept my gaze on him, trying to hide how hurt I felt by his words.
“She’s sitting here because I asked her to sit with us,” Jared told Layton disapprovingly.
Layton looked at me and muttered ‘sure’ under his breath. With my enhanced hearing, I heard him loud and clear.
All the guys in the table were silent after that. The air felt thick and uncomfortable.
I looked at Layton and smiled my brightest smile. He stared at me with a confused expression and I could see a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. When I saw that, I grabbed my messenger bag from the chair and hung it over my shoulder.
“The jerk’s right Jared. There are plenty of tables to sit at.” I grabbed my tray and got up.
“Thanks for lunch,” I told him, gesturing to my food.
“No, Cass, you don’t have to leave. Layton wasn’t being serious,” Jared said.
As soon as Jared’s hand wrapped around my wrist, Layton growled audibly. The guys at the table and I turned to look at him, but he tried to cover the growl by coughing.
Using Layton’s animalistic behavior as a distraction, I slipped out of the cafeteria and to the patio outside. There were plenty of picnic tables scattered around the area, and the fresh air felt nice.
There weren’t many people outside. I assumed the cold weather was keeping everyone inside the cafeteria.
After looking around for a few seconds, I found an empty table and sat down. Since most of the wall that separated the cafeteria from the back patio was made of glass, I could clearly see inside where Jared and the guys were seated.
They were arguing about something, that much was obvious.
Not wanting to be bothered with their drama, I changed to the other side of the picnic table and gave them my back.
I took out a notebook to write while I ate. I had no homework to do and I didn’t know anyone, seeing as my new friends were inside with the jerk. In that moment, I felt like the bad luck day had returned.
“Mind if I take a seat?” A guy asked.
He was standing in front of the picnic table, holding a bag of chips and a coke in his hands.
“Go ahead,” I said, going back to my writing.
“Why so lonely?”
I looked up from my notebook and stared at him. I was only going to give him a pointed look and send him on his way, but I stopped in my tracks when I drank in his appearance. He really knew how to pull off the rugged bad boy look, which enhanced his features and honestly made him look irresistible.
His light brown hair was disheveled, like he’d been running his hands through it. His hazel eyes were looking at me kindly, but also with curiosity.
Despite how attractive he was, his figure didn’t appeal to me as much as Layton’s had. I had to admit that he was nice to look at and he wasn’t being a jerk.
“I just got kicked out of a table,” I replied after a while.
I continued writing after checking him out one more time. He definitely passed my test, not that I was interested in being in a relationship with anyone.
“Ouch. Why would they kick you out?” He asked, looking genuinely interested.
“Hmm… I’m not sure, something about me being too much too handle. I was causing too much havoc,” I replied with a serious voice.
“So you’re a bad girl?”
“No, I’m a ninja, but some people can’t handle that,” I told him, grinning.
He laughed at me and slapped my hand.
“Hey! What was that for?”
His expression turned serious all of a sudden and he was looking down at his hand and mine.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he slowly replied.
“If you were a ninja, I wouldn’t have been able to slap you,” he said, but his voice sounded strained.
I looked at him suspiciously and chuckled, trying to put him at ease again.
“It was a surprise attack, we all get a slip-up,” I told him.
“So, does the ninja have a name?”
“Yeah, I do. I’ve actually had it for a while now,” I said, putting away my notebook.
“Are you going to tell me your name?” He asked with an amused expression.
“Are you going to tell me yours?”
“I’m Zeverus, but you can call me Zev,” he said.
“Can I call you Verus?” I asked him playfully.
“Why would you call me Verus? Isn’t it easier to just call me Zev?”
“Well, I guess,” I replied, stretching out the last word.
He gave a short laugh and shook his head.
“If you want, you can call me Verus,” Zeverus said.
“Hmm… I think I like Zev better. I really don’t see the point in calling you Verus. Zev sounds nicer. It has a ring to it.”
I was saying Zev in my mind, and I really liked how it sounded.
Zev. Zev. Zev.
I’d never met anyone with that name, and it was pretty cool.
“Then why did you want to call me Verus?” Zev asked, looking confused.
“I didn’t want to call you Verus,” I replied.
“You asked me if you could call me that.”
“No, I asked if I could. I never said I wanted to,” I told him.
He looked at me and furrowed his brows.
“Jeez Zev, you sure do like to talk about yourself,” I commented, blaming him for outstretching the conversation of his name.
With my thumb, I smoothed out the creases on his forehead. When my hand came in contact with his skin, I felt him freeze under my touch. He looked shocked. I assumed he thought it was inappropriate for me to touch him.
Without a second thought, I moved my hand away and took a bite of my pizza, trying to create a distraction.
Zev looked at me intently. After a while, he smiled like if nothing had happened. I was confused by his quick change in emotion, so I just smiled back and continued eating my pizza.
“So, today’s your first day?” Zev asked, finally breaking the silence.
“Yup,” I replied.
“And… how has it been so far?” He asked.
“Well, it’s not so bad. I made a few friends already. Given, I was kicked out of a table.”
“Who was that again?” Zev looked bothered by that.
His frown made me smile because it was cool that he was worried about me even though we didn’t really know each other.
“It was some punk. Don’t worry, I’ll get him back once I’m all settled in,” I told Zev, smiling brightly.