Facade

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Meeting family

THEA’S POV

When I thought about how Xavier will have to face me someday, I didn’t expect it to be literally a few minutes later.

After he ran away from me, I came back to the party to look for him. Unfortunately, my aunt found me instead.

“Thea! I didn’t think you’ll actually end up dancing with someone but I’m so happy for you.”

Dance? What dance—oh. Right. Dance with Xavier.

“Yep. I did dance.”

“Now, come on, I have to introduce you to someone.” With that, she pulls me away towards a young man. He seems to be in his late twenties by the look of it.

Dark hair swept to the side neatly, warm chocolate brown eyes regarding everything with an easy attitude. Even his smile is truly genuine. I instantly liked the man.

“Elijah, meet my niece, Thea Scarlett.” Beth turns to me. “Thea, this is Elijah Darkwood. My next fashion show will be held at an event venue in one of his hotels.”

Darkwood?

I clasp my hand with his outstretched ones.

“Pleasure to meet you, Miss Scarlett.”

“Please call me Thea. And the pleasure is all mine, Mr. Darkwood.”

He waves a hand in the air. “Call me Elijah, please. I’m only twenty-seven. Mister makes me feel old.”

“Sure, Elijah.”

He turns to Beth. “You have a lovely niece, Elizabeth. My nephews are always at each other’s throats.” He shakes his head. “Sometimes I think about saving money by cutting off the internet because they surely never fail to provide me with drama.”

“I’m sure they’re not that bad,” Beth laughs lightly.

Elijah sighs before grinning at us. “If only you knew.”

His following words are cut off by a new presence calling on his name. “Elijah, I’m leaving—”

Xavier stops short at the sight of me. I stifle a laugh that threatens to escape past my throat.

“There you are! Come here, meet Elizabeth.” Elijah motions for his nephew to come closer, completely ignorant to the constipated look he has on his face. “And this is her lovely niece, Thea.”

Elijah turns to me. “Thea, meet my nephew, Xavier.”

“Oh, we’ve met before.” My face is on the verge of splitting in half from the broad grin I’m wearing. A strangled sound escapes Xavier’s throat which goes unnoticed by anyone but me.

“Really?”

“Yeah, we go to the same school.”

“Oh, that’s amazing! I hope you’ll become good friends.” Elijah beams at both of us.

Here I was thinking about something more than friends.

That’s only if he doesn’t turn me to stone with his glare. I return his harsh gaze with a triumphant smile which only makes his expression turn icier.

This is going to be interesting.

*****

“You have that look on your face. What are you planning?” Lily looks at me in question to which I reply with a suspicious smirk of a murderer thinking about burying a body. “Please tell me you didn’t murder someone.”

I let out an evil laugh to the best of my abilities, just for fun.

“Oh no. I’m going to lose my best friend to prison, won’t I?”

“Don’t worry, Lil.” I pat her shoulder in a comforting manner. “If I do murder someone, I’m smart enough to not get caught.”

“I doubt that.”

I mock an offended gasp. “How can you doubt my murdering skills?”

“Oh, I’m sure you can murder someone just fine. I was talking about how you’ll brag about it instead of keeping shut and then get your ass hauled to prison.”

“A lot of your imagination consists of me in prison. Should I be concerned?”

“Nah. Can’t help it. I definitely did not imagine a prison wedding for you. Not at all.”

We part ways after that to head in opposite directions for our first period. As I make my way into the classroom, my eyes scan for empty seats rests on the one behind a certain raven-haired boy.

Grinning widely, I make my way to him.

“Hi!”

Unsurprisingly, my greeting is met with stone-cold silence.

“Hi!” The ginger-head in the seat beside Xavier waves his hand at me with an enthusiasm that surpasses mine.

Flynn points to Xavier, “He’s a little grumpy so ignore him.”

Xavier glares at his friend.

“When is he not?” I roll my eyes. “He literally drags the looming black cloud over his head along with him.”

His glare settles on me now.

“I know right! Sometimes I think he came out of the vagina like that, glaring at the doctors and nurses.”

“Really? I thought he’s just wearing itchy underwear or something.”

Flynn turns to the rigid Xavier and in the most serious tone asks, “Are you wearing itchy underwear?” He widens his eyes in an expression of horror. “Do you need me to buy you new underwear?”

The pencil in Xavier’s hand breaks in half.

His glare can probably freeze an entire country. Just as he opens his mouth to unleash hell upon his friend, the teacher walks in and the bell rings.

Saved by the bell.

I hurriedly try to reach the empty seat but Flynn gets up from his chair and motions for me to take it as he sits on the one behind Xavier.

I blink once. Settling on the chair beside the silently fuming boy, I mouth a sincere ‘thank you’ to the one behind him.

Flynn glances between his friend and I then sends me a knowing wink.

I make it a mission to annoy Xavier in any way possible. My efforts consist of throwing various stuff at him: eraser, paper balls, meaningful glances which were not so meaningful considering I also had to face the teacher so he doesn’t notice my behavior, and then...more paper balls.

And the man that he is, he continuously and very efficiently remained unresponsive to everything.

Even when Flynn kicked his chair, he didn’t turn around nor gave any indication of any annoyance whatsoever.

So when the bell rang signaling the end of the class, I yelled out the message that I had written in the crumpled papers.

“Xavier, can you please meet me at the gate after school? I have given you something.” He keeps walking as I stare at him unsure if he heard me or not.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell him,” Flynn places a hand on my shoulder and I turn around to give him a grateful smile. He gives me a broad grin. “Friends?”

I laugh. “Do you really have to ask? Hell yeah!”

“Aw, you’re cute. Come here,” he pulls me in for a bear hug which I happily return.

Flynn’s easy-going aura makes it effortless to be friends.

As school comes to an end, a feeling of restlessness courses through me. I know for sure Flynn kept his word but Xavier has no reason to actually oblige.

Still, I wait at the entrance gate, waiting for him. Minutes pass by and I watch students leave but no sign of Xavier.

When half an hour pass and he still doesn’t show up, I sigh heavily and decide to head home.

“Thea?”

I turn around abruptly, the grin slipping off my face when I catch sight of the person in front of me.

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