Right at the moment, I wanted to try out my sprinting speed but my nerves were just not coordinating with my brain.
Why is it that the big ball of white wrinkles inside my skull always want to prove that it’s completely useless in the presence of The Almighty Xavier of Los Carlos?!
I squeezed my eyes shut as I began to hear the drumming of my wild wild heart in my ears.
‘Again’... I whimpered inside.
With as much will power I could gather, I willed myself to resumed my steps; still intending to deceive him that I was not me and get away from him.
“MONGREL,” he called again.
‘Mongrel? He totally knows that it’s me.’ I whimpered again inside.
I quickened my pace. On one table, I spotted a stick mask.
May the good Lord bless whoever that brought it because it certainly doesn’t look like Hunt would be interested in anything like this.
It was feathery and I could figure out that it was female from the look itself. I scurried towards it, grabbed it and hid my face with it as I try to run away without Xavier seeing my face.
God only knows what he’ll say in school if he sees me running away from him.
“We’re not playing hide and seek. I know it’s you,” he remarked, lazily rolling the words on the tip of his tongue.
Screw the female James Bond. It’s no use.
I bit my lip, gave a defeated sigh and turned to face him,
with the mask still masking my face.
He scoffed and rolled his eyes, “What’s the meaning...” He stopped short and stared when I let down the mask.
He scanned me, slowly dragging his eyes down till my toes and then smiled gorgeously when coming back to my eyes. I started to feel conscious about my appearance.
“You look good,” he said.
I blinked rapidly.
“Oh. I, uh . . . Um. It’s . . .” I stuttered bashfully.
I never did well with compliments.
I swallowed, cleared my throat (a trick I learned from him and it worked) and replied, “Brittany and Kendra’s hard work.”
“I said You. Look. Good,” he drawled with a soft smile as if he was talking to a hearing impaired person.
“Oh. Okay. Thanks.” I looked down on my shoes to hide my blush as I replied.
When I looked back at him after composing my heated cheeks, he was still staring at me with the same soft smile smoothly curved upon his pink lips. I was dazed for a while as he held my eyes hostage in his gaze, all the while rendering me lost in the soft vibrance of his eyes, but still managed to give a small smile.
“It was an awesome gig,” I said in an attempt to distract myself but also sincerely meaning it. They were great.
“Glad you could show up.” He shrugged and drank his beer. Then he smirked comically as he stated, “A mask. For real.”
I began to laugh.
Don’t blame me. I have a very weird sense of humor. A second ago, I was fleeing and now I was laughing at my own actions.
“Why were you running away from me?”
Still smirking very coolly. This King of Yoghurt.
“I didn’t want to deal with your narcissism which is clearly ten times the size of Texas, that’s why,” I replied.
He laughed shaking his head and remarked, “It seems more like you were afraid you would fall in love with me.”
My lips parted a little, stunned by his words as if I was exposed of a crime I was committing and my heartbeat stumbled clumsily.
I worked up my senses and replied, rolling my eyes, “This is exactly why I was running away.”
He chuckled. “I wasn’t expecting you here.”
“Neither did I. But even more I didn’t expect you on the stage.”
“Come on. Doesn’t this face spell rock star clear enough?”
I rolled my eyes again.
He chuckled again.
“Who did you come with?”
“Kendra. Brittany. Connor.”
“I didn’t think you would be interested so I didn’t tell you.” He narrowed his eyes in a calculative mode. “But even if I had asked you to come, you would’ve only refused anyway, wouldn’t you?”
I thought for a moment and shrugged. “Probably. But that depends on either it’s a party or a concert. I might’ve agreed for the concert but not the party.”
“But here you are... In a party after the concert.” He smirked emphasizing on the words ‘party’ and ‘concert’.
I shrugged it off.
With a serious note on his countenance, he was looking at me like he was memorizing me; a slight hint of longing and solemnity faintly brushed across his calm face.
I felt something hard hit me on my shoulder from the side suddenly and I immediately winced and cried, “Ouch!”
But Xavier had pulled me by my arm to his side in no time, helping me dodge half of the impact. I went straight into his chest. I would have lost balance and fell from the heavy knock if Xavier had not caught me. With the other arm that was not holding me, he threw his beer down and grabbed the man who bumped into me by his collar and pushed him away from me, making the man stagger back.
“Watch it,” Xavier growled.
I craned my neck up at his face to see the pair of cold eyes that were glaring threateningly at the man. Whoa. They looked like they could make a tiger mew.
I turned back to see the man backing away gingerly with his hands held up in defense and apology.
Excuse me, mister. You bumped into me, not him!!! I frowned. It’s not fair. Everybody’s so afraid of Xavier to the point they apologise to him just because he’s around when the damage was actually done to me! Did you get it? To me!
The man looked at me and gave an apologetic nod, at least, and walked away.
I looked back Xavier, suddenly becoming so aware of the proximity between us and the heat of his body radiating through every part of me, starting from my two stupid palms that were planted on his chest to the tip of my toes. If nails have nerves, I might have probably felt his heat there too.
I cleared my throat for the second time this evening (nice trick) and moved out of his warm hold saying, “Yeah. Thanks.”
Damn. It’s cold.
“Asshole,” he grumbled under his breath, boring his eyes at the man’s retreating back.
I couldn’t help but smile.
“How often do you that?”
“Do what?” He looked back at me.
“That don’t-mess-around look.”
He laughed softly, raked a hand through his magnificently disheveled bronze locks and answered, “Only when it’s necessary.”
It was amazing how that scary look appeared all of a sudden and then disappeared as quick as it appeared. I smiled.
“Did you see me in the kitchen?”
“Then how did you know it was me?”
A naughty grin curved upon his lips, “I didn’t have to look anywhere else but the pair of original bottoms.”
My eyes widened, zeroing in on him and I gasped loudly.
I can’t believe he actually said that?!
He chortled like a wild animal seeing my face.
“Pervert!!” I snapped comically, laughing as well.
But then, he stopped laughing instantly.
“What did you just call him, bitch?” Alexis suddenly appeared before me out of the blue, her eyes flaming dangerously like wildfire.
Before I could say anything, Xavier wrapped both of his arms around her ribs at once from the back and pulled her away from me.
Alexis screamed, “Put me down, Xavi!! I’ll teach this bitch a lesson!!!”
“She didn’t mean it, Alex!” Xavier responded as he dragged her away.
Alexis was kicking and screaming angrily in protest as Xavier dragged her off. I stood by dumbstruck, watching her sudden outburst of a riot.
What just happened?
What did I do?
Everyone around was now staring our way; staring at me.
God. This is so embarrassing.
I looked up and saw Hunt standing beside me.
I garbled, “I don’t know. I just called Xavier a pervert?” I squeaked when I said the P word, “And she exploded.”
“You what?!” His tone made me jump. “You called Xavier a pervert? In. Front. Of. Alexis?” Hunt was barely hiding his laughter. Disturbed too.
“Was I not supposed to?”
“Never call Xavier a pervert. Never... That word triggers his guns and balls. And most importantly, Not. In. Front. Of. Alex. She’ll eat you up alive,” he said with a chuckle.
I mean it’s just a word. Everyone says that, right?
“He... ” Hunt paused and nervously scratched the back of his neck. “He doesn’t like it.”
Hunt hesitated to tell me the reason. There must be quite a reason behind it. I should be careful. Alexis’ reaction and Xavier suddenly stopping to laugh did meant something.
“Uh. I’m sorry. By the way, I had no idea that she was around. She popped out of nowhere.”
“Careful next time, good girl. I’m sure you don’t wanna be beaten black and blue.” He chuckled, ruffling my hair.
I wonder why.