Tenacious Sky

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Chapter 11

The girls were waiting at the gates of the amusement park for us. They waved excitedly when we met up with them. Even though it was still pretty early in the day, there was already a crowd heading inside. Freya tried to stick herself to Leo when she saw him, but he paid no attention to her. I saw what Easton meant. It looked like he couldn't see anyone as he stood there completely aloof.

"So do we want to break off or stay together?" Ryker asked as Easton distributed the tickets.

"We can start off together. Those who want to break off, can. We all have someone's number so we'll leave that as an option. Let's just plan to meet back here when the park closes," Easton took charge. We all agreed before passing through the gates and into the park. Staying together didn't last very long at all. We barely walked ten steps before it was just Leo, Freya, and me.

"What do you want to ride?" Leo asked me.

"Oh! I like the pirate ship," Freya said excitedly as she misunderstood. Leo glanced at her before looking to me.

"I don't really like rollercoasters," I admitted.

"We'll stick to the small stuff and games then," Leo decided.

"But-"

"If you don't like it, go latch on to a different group," Leo cut Freya off as she was about to complain. I felt kind of bad for her. I could tell that she liked Leo, and he was completely shutting her down. I elbowed him gently.

"Be nice. She's just excited because she likes you," I warned him where Freya couldn't hear. He only rolled his eyes at me.

"I'm not going to lead her on. It's just annoying. Better to crush her hopes here than let it continue only to crush them later," he said back to me softly. Freya was oblivious as she wallowed in her disappointment. I sighed and shook my head at him.

"We can go to the pirate ride first," I said for her benefit. She perked up as we changed course to ride what she wanted. When we got to the ship, I stood off to the side.

"You're not riding it?" Leo asked. I shook my head. After a second, Leo broke out of the line to stand next to me.

"You should ride it with her," I said to him.

"I don't want to," he retorted. I only sighed. Leo could at least go with her since I could tell he wanted to ride it too. Freya ended up boarding the ride by herself as we watched.

"I get why you don't want to lead her on, but do you have to be so mean about it?" I asked curiously. He shrugged.

"It's just how I am," he answered.

"Not with me," I thought out loud. I wanted to take the words back as soon as they left my lips. I didn't mean for him to hear it. Leo smirked before patting my head.

"You're different. It was easy to forget to be mean to you because I too busy watching your back, so now I don't even try," he admitted. His hand fell away from my head as I stood there dumbfounded. He really was a completely different person with me. When Freya finished the ride, we moved on to the carousel. This time we all rode it. Freya and I each took a horse as Leo held on to the pole going through my horse's back. I pulled out my phone and took a few selfies of all of us, the just with Leo. My parents would want proof that I was making friends soon, and Freya was the perfect decoy. Especially since she actually attended Stone Lake. I was having a blast. We rode more small rides and stopped for treats a few times before we moved on to the games. Leo zoned into a dart game.

"Oh the teddy bear is so cute!" Freya smiled as she looked at the wall of prizes. Leo got all the balloons on the first try before picking the teddy bear as a prize. He turned with it in his hands. I saw the flicker of hope die in Freya's eyes as he held the bear out to me.

"Here. I have no use for this," Leo said simply. Freya was going from disappointment to irritation quickly. I wanted to give it to her, but I felt like that would just be adding insult to injury. We stayed at the park until the sun went down. Finally it was time for the park to close. We made our way back to the meet up spot and waited. It didn't take long for the others to come.

"Cute bear, Sky. Did you win that?" Nathan asked.

"Leo got it for him," Freya answered in irritation.

"I didn't want it, I just wanted to play the game," Leo shrugged indifferently.

"Why didn't you give it to Freya?" Easton asked.

"Because she wanted me to give it to her. I didn't tag along to get a girlfriend. I came to watch over my kid," Leo said bluntly. The group took turns gauging each other's reaction at his statement. All he did was draw more attention to us.

"Thank the girls for coming out with us," I said to Leo sternly, trying to get the subject to change.

"Thanks for coming out with us," Leo said almost robotically. The guys were shocked.

"Um, you guys could still come back to the hotel to hang out with us if you're not ready to go back yet," I suggested.

"Are you inviting us to your hotel?" One of the girls asked excitedly. I nodded hesitantly.

"I brought Jenga and Cards Against Humanity. We could play a few games," I suggested. Both the girls and guys loved the idea. Leo, however, simply shot me a pointed look. I know he hated hanging out with people, but he needed to make other friends besides me. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I got caught and kicked out of the school. I didn't want to leave Leo by himself.
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