TASTE ( Stark and Stone #1)

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16: Distraction & Drama


I had no time for school drama anymore, my home life was enough. I felt like the universe was conspiring against me and I know it sounds very dramatic but it is true. I woke up today with so much determination to not let that stupid man have any control over my thoughts and my body but as soon as he entered the room looking utterly edible in a plain blue t-shirt and trousers I couldn’t help but swoon.

I consider myself a strong woman. I have bought men older than him on their knees and I’m going to make him realize what he’s missing out. I’m irrational, young, crazy and ready to cross all limits to move on because I’ve been spontaneous like that all my life. I asked him directly last night if he wanted me and he had the audacity to reject me. So nothing is stopping me to be a free woman again as if anyone could cage me in.

“Are you even listening to me? Come back from La La land.”
Gina was being her usual self, talking nonstop about something I completely missed out. I gave her an apologetic look and told her about my lack of sleep last night.

“Aww. You! Poor baby. Don’t worry you can sleep in the History class today. I have eye de-puffers in my bag. You need them today more than me.”

Emeric was standing near my locker surrounded by Hannah and Ashley while Gina was digging inside her bag to find me some eye de-puffs. They were talking about some house party that happened on Saturday. I was invited but I didn’t bother going and now I regret not going.

Emeric is hot, I will give that. He is tall and lean. His jaw tightened every time I spoke rudely to him which was kind of sexy. Today I was in a rebellious mood and I really don’t care about anything today. The man I wanted doesn’t want which rarely happens but here is the guy who wants me and isn’t afraid to show it too. I have not lost my charm. Not yet.

I gave him a friendly smile as I reached my locker because his nonsense could distract me today. The smile on Hannah’s face faded and her expression made her look like she just ate something nasty. Well, I have that effect on some girls.

After I became the captain, both of them have made their goal to ignore my presence which is fine with me as long as they don’t cause trouble during practice. I think both of them are smart enough to know that if there is tension in the team it may cost us the inter-state cheerleading competition.

“Her clothes look from a flea market. Don’t you think? Cheapness literally drips from her body.”
Hannah’s annoying voice reached my ears even if I didn’t want to. I guess I spoke too soon. One of them is not smart enough. I usually ignore such comments because I don’t feel like she even deserves a reaction from me but not today. Today I’m not in a mood to take shit from anyone.

I calmly closed my locker and turned to face her head-on and chest out (not literally). I’m angry for different reasons but she provoked me on my worst day so she’ll have it the same way.

“Since you know so much about flea market you must be a regular customer there I guess. And you know what it doesn’t even matter where I buy my clothes from because it’s none of your fucking business. If I’m cheap then what are they calling people who fuck behind their friends back with their boyfriend? Don’t look so shocked I saw you with Reese. So cry me a fucking river and drown in it bitch. Don’t fuck with me.”
Three shocked faces stared at me and then I looked around to find almost everyone in the hallway staring at me.

Gina came to my rescue and dragged me out of the Mannequin Challenge zone. We turned left and Gina almost burst out laughing. She had tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Oh my god. I’ve seen it all now. Someone who could put Hannah right in her place. Did you see the look on her face? I think she got what she deserved for bullying people. Emeric was staring at you as if you were some goddess.”
I know she was exaggerating but I didn’t object. I don’t know what came over me, it’s not like I regret exposing her but I know that I’m above this and I should have talked to Reese before, a good friend of Hannah who is also in the squad. I lost my temper and there is only one person I would like to blame.

“Let’s just go to class Gina.”

✳ ✳ ✳

I didn’t drive to school today because my mom dropped me off. My hands automatically dialled Alastair’s number but I ended it before the call connected. I looked around and noticed that Gina has already left and there were only a few cars left in the parking. Today was so not my day. I want it to be over already.

“Do you need a ride home?”
The familiar voice makes me turn around and I see Emeric leaning against his car a few steps away from me.

I usually don’t take rides from guys like him when my intention is not to fuck them later but I’ll make an exception today. I walk over to the passenger seat and wait for him to get in. In a monotone voice, I tell him my address and he moves out of the school without any wandering eyes following us.

The car smells like a man’s cologne which I like very much. I am surprised to see the backseat so clean. Aren’t teenage boys all messy and have weed stashed in their cars nowadays?

“I would like to apologize on behalf of Hannah. She is a nice girl underneath all the cold personality. She is not a bully. She is just insecure.”
I have no sympathy for Hannah if that was his intention because that girl needs to respect people. Insecurity is not an excuse to bully someone.

“Seriously? You are going to talk about Hannah right now?”
His light chuckle lightens the tension in the car and I relax my stiff shoulders against the seat.

“So tell me something about yourself that no one knows?”
Emeric is naturally handsome, even his side profile stands out. His jaw is sharp and most importantly he has a personality. If I was a different person, I would totally go out with him.

“Kudos for asking such a non-cliché question. Anyway, I make portraits of people when I’m bored and obviously no one knows about it except you. Your turn.”
He gives me a shocked glance at my revelation but seems to believe me. I rarely do it because I have now found far more interesting things to keep myself occupied.

“I sing at a bar every weekend.”
He gives me a sheepish look but quickly covered it up with a neutral expression. Damn, this guy is something else.

“Tell me which bar and I’ll be there.”
He laughs at my words and I couldn’t help but think that maybe I misjudged him. He could be a good friend.

“Princess, we have reached our destination.”
I looked around and indeed I’ve reached home.

“Here, take your phone. You should put a better password on it. I saved my contact. Call me whenever you need me.”
I look at his handsome trying to decipher if he’s really charming or a creep who knows how to hack.

“Hacking is also one of my many talents. I’m good with numbers and my fingers and....you’ll find out soon enough.”

He winked at me and I gave out a hearty laugh at his antics. I should have invited him inside but it felt a little too soon. With that, he pulled out of my driveway and I waved him goodbye. I started walking to the door, an amused smile still plastered on my face. I look up and the smile falls off my face after seeing Alastair leaning against the door looking fucking pissed.

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