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The weekend flew by. I spent my time with Georgia and my mom. I didn’t get to see her often because she worked a lot so whenever she was home, I tried to spend as much time as possible with her.
By Monday, I was ready to get back to school. Throughout the weekend, I kept looking out for a certain handsome stranger. My heart ached—I hated being away from him. I wanted to see him again.
Jamie greeted me at the school entrance, a beautiful smile gracing his lips. He looked hot—as usual.
“Hey, Celeste,” He said, eyeing me in my cheerleading uniform. My long legs were on full display for everyone to see. “How are you doing?”
Georgia called me yesterday and told me Jamie had been pestering her about my wellbeing since he didn’t have my new phone number.
I smiled up at him, my heart fluttering in my chest. Jamie made my heart flutter, but the green-eyed man made my heart thunder in my chest. My whole body felt electric in his presence. “I’m doing okay. Thanks for asking.”
Jamie’s smile softened. “Good.” He then paused and rubbed the back of his neck. “Can I walk you to your locker?”
We fell into step, our arms occasionally brushing. A few people stared at us, knowing smiles on their faces.
“So, where’s my beloved cousin?” Jamie asked, searching the car park for Georgia.
I sighed, “She messaged me earlier saying she couldn’t give me a lift this morning. I think she’s riding with Matt.”
Jamie’s eyebrows shot up. It shouldn’t have surprised him to hear this. Matt and Georgia were on and off. They hooked up, acted like they were dating for a few minutes and then ditched each other. It was a vicious cycle. When they weren’t hooking up, they basically ignored each other. But when they were hooking up, they acted like a couple.
“Typical,” Jamie muttered and shook his head in disbelief.
We came to a halt at my locker. Jamie leaned against the locker next to mine and studied me with a soft expression on his face. I took the necessary books out, feeling his gaze on me the entire time.
“You have History first, right?” He questioned.
I nodded my head, shocked he knew this. “How on earth do you know that?”
He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, “I have my ways.”
“Oh, really?” I arched an eyebrow, slamming my locker shut. I twisted my body so that I completely face him. “So, you didn’t ask one of my cheer friends?”
A sheepish look crossed his face. I had my answer. I chuckled whilst he grinned.
He escorted me to homeroom—which we shared. Georgia and Matt were already sat in their seats, flirting. They barely noticed us enter the room. We all sat at the back of the classroom, huddled together. Jamie and Matt were sat right at the back, with Georgia and I seated in front of them. We always turned around and spoke to them.
“Baby, can you stop biting your sexy lips?” Matt groaned; his eyes fixated on Georgia’s blood-red lips. It was her signature lipstick.
She plastered a smirk on her face and stretched out her long, thin legs. The cheerleading outfit made her look good.
“Hi guys,” Jamie chirped, earning a quick hello from the two teenagers. I grinned mischievously.
“Why should I stop biting my lips?” Georgia whispered seductively, leaning in closer to Matt. He had to awkwardly stand up, putting his body over his desk to get closer to her.
“And that’s enough of that,” Jamie intervened, earning a pout from his cousin. Whenever Matt and Georgia were ‘together’, they would act differently. Georgia became somebody else—somebody nicer.
“Oh, hey Celeste. Didn’t really notice you there,” Georgia blinked in surprise. I shook my head and sent her a small smile.
“What about me, cousin?” Jamie questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“Don’t worry, Jamie, I couldn’t forget you."
Before he could finish his sentence, our homeroom teacher—Mr Ellis—entered the classroom, panting. The poor man was always running late.
“Sorry guys, my car broke down again,” He apologized, pinching his lips together in annoyance. “I hope you all had a—”
Mr Ellis was interrupted by a sharp knock on the door. All eyes snapped to the door, curiously. Who could be knocking on the door? Everyone who was supposed to be here was here.
“Come in,” Mr Ellis commanded, dropping his briefcase on the table loudly.
Three new students waltzed into the room, power oozing from all of them. I nearly gasp, immediately recognizing two of them.
The green-eyed man and the dark-skinned man.
The other person was a very pretty girl with white hair and striking blue eyes. They made my own pale in comparison. They were all tall and well built. All of them were wearing stylish clothing. They stood out. Of course, they did. They were drop-dead gorgeous. Too gorgeous for this small town.
Everybody oogled at them in wonder and awe.
I couldn’t look away from the green-eyed man who just so happened to be staring directly at me. I blushed and stared at my table in horror. God, he caught me staring at him!
“It’s the super-hot guys!” Georgia shifted closer to me and murmured, excitedly.
“Hello, you must be my new students,” Mr Ellis said, suddenly remembering who they were. He then turned to address us. “Why don’t you all introduce yourselves?”
The angel of a woman was the first to tell us her name. I could see all of the guys drooling at the sight of her. “Hi, my name is Marianne Miller.” She beamed, showing off her pearly white teeth.
I felt envious of the girl. She was so pretty. She was the type of girl you’d see with the green-eyed man. Her high cheekbones were the type people died for. Her skin was pale but not sickly pale.
“And I’m Dexter Bay,” The dark-skinned man said, flashing us an award-winning smile.
I couldn’t wait to find out the green-eyed man’s name. I lifted my gaze to him, waiting in anticipation. He locked eyes with me and told me his name, “Lazarus Ward.”
Shivers ran down my spine. Hearing his deep, manly voice had my heart thumping in my chest quickly. It was almost as if he could sense what was happening to me because the corners of his lips quirked upwards.
I couldn’t recall much about what happened at the club. I could remember dancing and then a fight. Lazarus was there. At least, I think he was.
“Well, it’s nice to meet all of you,” Mr Ellis said to them, smiling politely. “You can take a seat now.”
The only seats left were at the front of the classroom.
Mr Ellis started giving us a lecture on the importance of doing homework. Jamie and Matt moaned in distaste loudly, attracting our teacher’s attention.
“Mr Stem and Mr Johnson, do you have something to say?” Mr Ellis asked with a tired sigh. He was used to them disrupting his class.
I swivelled around in my chair and gave Jamie a pointed look.
“No, sir,” Jamie smirked at Mr Ellis, winking at me.
I swear I heard a growl when Jamie did this. But then I thought better of it—I mean, who could growl? There weren’t any dogs in this class.
Mentally shaking my head, I turned back around and faced Mr Ellis again with an emotionless expression on my face.
The rest of homeroom went smoother. I found myself staring at Lazarus’ back, entranced by him. Occasionally, he would glance over his shoulder and meet my eyes. Once again, I swear I saw his eyes flash. But then again, it could have been the lighting. Maybe I needed more sleep.
When the bell for our first lesson rang, we all stood up. Georgia linked her arm with mine and dragged me out of the classroom.
The three new students were stood in the hallway already. They had caught everybody’s attention. And whilst girls fawned over the two guys and boys basically eye-raped the girl, nobody approached them. They looked so...intimidating.
As I passed them, Lazarus captured my eye again. An unidentifiable emotion swirled in his alluring eyes. One I didn’t have the time to decipher.
Ellie jumped out from her classroom two doors down from ours and pulled us into a hug. “Oh my god, guys! That party Friday was great...but where did you guys go? Did you ditch us for some club again?”
She didn’t look angry, just upset. I hated seeing Ellie sad. She was always so bright and bubbly. A true friend.
Georgia didn’t look guilty, “Yeah, the party was getting lame.”
“Yeah, I guess it was. Luckily, I had Wilder to cheer me up, right?” Ellie giggled, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.
As we were talking, three pairs of eyes were on us. I didn’t notice them, too caught up in the conversation.
Georgia and I were in the same History class. Ellie had Biology with a few other cheerleaders.
We sat in our usual seats and talked.
“Don’t you think it’s strange three people join our school close to the end of the year?” Georgia commented, casually, scrunching her perfectly plucked eyebrows together.
Now that I thought about it, she was right. It was strange.
“Maybe they had to transfer from another school?” I offered as an explanation.
“But it seemed like they knew each other. Why would all three of them move together?” She continued to speculate. ”And they look super gorgeous. I mean, is it even possible to look that good?”
I could detect the jealousy in her voice.
“I don’t know,” I muttered, staring ahead blankly. Millions of thoughts darted around my head. I had so many questions. Why was I thinking about Lazarus so much? Why did it feel like his soul was calling to mine? Why did I feel so safe and protected around him?
Marianne Miller, the stunning white-haired girl strolled into the classroom a few seconds later, a stoic expression settled on her face. She scanned the room and stopped when her eyes landed on me. She then lowered herself into the chair a few desks away from me.
Georgia narrowed her eyes at Marianne, suspicion clear as day in her hazel orbs.
Throughout the lesson, Marianne would look my way. She never said or did anything. Just looked.
In my next three lessons, I had two with Marianne, two with Dexter and one with Lazarus. They were all in my English class.
They didn’t say anything to me but they all cast me a strange look. Especially Lazarus, who stared at me with longing?
At lunchtime, I sat at the popular table in the centre of the hall with the cheer squad and the football team. We all sat together on Monday’s, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The three new students sat towards the edge of the cafeteria. They attracted the attention of everybody in the room.
I took a peek at them a few times, to see them talking seriously. Once again, I felt his eyes on me.
“So, did anyone find anything out about the three new people?” Georgia asked, directing this mostly at Ellie. She was the Queen of gossip. Plus, she was super friendly. If anyone was to talk to them and find out something about them, it was her.
Ellie pinched her lips together, “No, I tried talking to the girl, but she only replied with short sentences.”
Georgia’s shoulder slumped. She wanted to know everything about them so that she could decide if they were a threat or not.
“That’s a shame,” She muttered, attacking her salad with her fork.
“How about I invite them to Winston’s diner tonight?” Ellie offered.
It was as if a light bulb went off in Georgia’s head. She smiled coldly.
“That’s an excellent idea, Ells,” Georgia said. I could imagine her already forming a plan.
Jamie stared at his cousin suspiciously, “What are you planning, cous?”
“I just want to get to know them, that’s all,” Georgia answered, playing the innocent. We all knew she was far from that.
I knew Georgia well. We grew up together. I knew she was planning to interrogate them at the diner, with us as her backup. Nothing works better than peer pressure.
If they passed her little ‘test’, they could get off scot-free. They could even join our clique. If not, well...I’d rather not say.
She wanted to use her power. Georgia might not admit it, but she was intimidated by them. They were gorgeous and hot. They had an air of mystery around them. People revelled in that type of thing. She didn’t want to lose her spot in the social hierarchy.
Thus, she needed to make the first move.
It was stupid. But this was what mattered in Georgia’s world.
She wanted to ruin any chances of them taking her spot.
I sighed and poked at my salad—I had no say in the matter. I had to go along with it.
“George, they’re not trying to take your crown from you,” I reasoned, hoping I can get through to her. She was just being paranoid. “They haven’t made any attempts to be popular. I think they just want to keep their heads down and get on with their schoolwork.”
Georgia looked doubtful. “Don’t be silly, Celeste. Everybody wants to be popular. Even them.”
She wasn’t going to back down.
I really didn’t think they cared about popularity. They didn’t look like the type of people who would care.
“You know what? Why don’t we go and ask them now,” Georgia suggested, already rising to her feet. She grabbed my bare arm and pulled me along. Ellie leapt to her feet and joined us.
God this was so silly.
We stopped by their table and faced all three of them. Up close, they looked even more beautiful. There wasn’t a single flaw on their skin. It made me feel self-conscious. Their eyes were closed off, but I could see them holding so many secrets. Secrets I wanted to know.
Lazarus’s eyes drank all of me in. I suddenly felt glad I was wearing my cheerleading outfit.
Electricity crackled between us. My skin tingled and my heart rate increased. Being in his presence made me feel lighter and happier.
“Hi,” Georgia greeted, plastering a bright and electric smile on her face. “I’m Georgia and I just wanted to welcome you to our school.”
“Hello,” Dexter was the one to reply, smiling politely at us. “You were in our homeroom, right?”
Georgia nodded her head, “I was.”
“It’s so nice to have new students. We never get new people here!” Ellie said cheerfully, sending them a dazzling smile. She could make anyone feel at ease. “We were wondering if you wanted to join us at Winston’s diner tonight.”
Marianne cocked her head to the side, genuinely perplexed, “Why?”
Georgia rolled her eyes, looking as if she wanted to say, ‘Oh, you poor, silly girl’, “Well, it’s not nice being new in an unfamiliar town, now is it? We wanted to welcome you properly and get to know you. We can tell you everything you need to know.”
Lazarus’ eyes remained on me, “Will you all be there?”
I wanted to blush under his stare. I liked having him stare at me. And I like the feelings he evoked in me.
Georgia noticed the look he was giving me and glanced at me with a smirk. I wanted to scream that there was nothing between us.
“Yep,” Georgia replied, mischievously.
His eyes brightened considerably.
“Sure, we’ll all be there,” Lazarus replied. “What time?”
“Six o’clock,” Ellie piped up.
They both started walking away but for some reason, my legs wouldn’t move. Lazarus stared at me knowingly; waited patiently for me to say whatever I needed to say.
I opened my mouth, not entirely sure what I was going to ask him but before I could, Georgia’s hard voice stopped me.
“Celeste!” She called like a pet owner shouting for her dog. Oh, right. I was leaving with them.
Shyly, I smiled and darted off.
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