I was thankful when Saturday morning came. That means that Friday’s fiasco was officially part of the past. Olivia Connors’ party had been kind of a disaster. Even before I left my house, the night hadn’t gone to plan. Everywhere I went Kaleb Nixon was ruining my mood. He showed up at my house beforehand to order me not to come. I’d laughed in his face and gone anyway. In hindsight, maybe I should’ve listened to his warning more.
Jason Peters’ face flashes across my memory. There was no doubt in my mind that Olivia had told him where I was and what to do. How far they’d planned to take it was beyond me. I didn’t get a chance to find out. Kaleb Nixon had once again shown up. He’d threatened Jason Peters’ and watched as the linebacker ran away with his tail between his legs.
He’d yelled at me, basically calling me a weak girl that couldn’t defend herself. I’d proved him wrong and couldn’t be happier about it. I smile now just remembering the look on his face when I pinned him on the ground.
I’m lying in my bed, staring up at the ceiling when Leo pokes his head in. “I’m leaving, alright? Keep the door locked. I’ll call you in a bit.”
Leo had to yet again leave for a business thing. For a U.S. Marshal assigned to protect me, he wasn’t around much. His job kept him very busy. “Sure, Leo, I’ll see you later.”
He gives me an apologetic smile and disappears into the hall. A minute later I hear the front door open and close. I’m left alone again in a house that doesn’t feel like home. These are the moments when my mind wanders back to Greer Thomas’ life. I hate these moments. When I’m alone, there is no one and nothing to distract me from the nightmares.
I’m not sure how much time passes while I sit surfing through the channels. I have the television’s volume up high to drown out the silence of the house. I hate silence. Suddenly, my phone chimes alerting me to a new text message.
I pull my phone open, expecting it to be Adam. It isn’t.
Unknown: Pete’s Diner in ten minutes. -K
I stare down at the simple message and the initial at the end. Kaleb Nixon has my phone number. He’s starting to know way too much about me and I don’t like it. First, it was my address, now it was my phone number.
I sat there for five minutes more, trying hard to ignore the message. I cursed and got to my feet. I don’t why I was going. I wanted so hard to avoid him, but everywhere I turned Kaleb Nixon was working his way into my life. I hated it.
I purposely took my time getting dressed. I slowly ran a brush through my hair and walked down the stairs. I locked the front door behind me. I took my time choosing a song to play over my car stereo. Once I was ready, I made sure to drive five miles an hour under the speed limit.
When I pulled into the diner, Kaleb’s car was the first one I noticed. It was parked at the side, empty. I parked far away from it, at the front. When I peered inside the restaurant, I saw Kaleb. He was leaning across the counter to talk to the girl behind it. She was blushing and blasting a bright smile. I saw Kaleb lean forward and tuck a piece of hair behind his ear.
My stomach twisted.
I got from my car and walked into the restaurant. “Down, puppy,” I said to him as I stepped up beside him.
Kaleb turned to smirk at me, “Glad you could make it.”
My eyes snapped back to the waitress he’d been hitting on. She didn’t look happy to see me. Kaleb took me by the elbow and led me to a booth in the back. The seats were cracked and worn. It reminded me of the diner I used to go to with my parents. My heart clenched.
“You okay?” Kaleb asks suddenly, noticing the look on my face.
I clear my throat and ignore his question, “What’d you want?”
He studies me for a moment and shakes his head. “I thought we could work on our project some more.”
Kaleb Nixon didn’t seem the kind of boy to care about a project or homework. He was a bad boy to his roots. He skipped class all the time and smoked on the school campus. Yet, here he was making sure our project got done.
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll finish it myself,” I told him, leaning back against the booth to try to be further away from him.
“It’s called a partner project, Greer.” He insists.
“Yeah, but this partnership isn’t really working for us. I think it’d be better if I did it on my own.” I said. “I’ll put your name on it.”
“It’s a presentation.” He counters.
“Okay, then the day before we present we’ll go over who says what line.” I shrug.
“I don’t know how it worked in your old school, but when the teacher assigns you a project and a partner, then you work with that partner.” He tries to explain.
“I know how they work.” I snap. “But like I said before, it’s not working for us.”
“I’m not letting you do all the work.” He shakes his head.
“Fine, you do the work then.” I cross my arms over my chest.
He laughs, “You’re impossible to work with.”
“Okay, exactly why I’m saying we shouldn’t be partners anymore.”
“Half this assignment is graded on how much work we each do. It’s cheating to let one person do all the work.”
“I won’t be doing all the work.” I shake my head. “You helped with part one and you’ll help present it.”
He studies me for a moment, his face passive. He has his hands shoved in his leather jacket as usual. His dark blonde locks are perfectly messy. He’s handsome, no doubt about it, but his good looks are lost on me. He’s infuriating and that’s all I can focus on.
“Do you want some pie?” His voice breaks through my thoughts.
I don’t know how to answer. We were just fighting a moment ago. “What?”
"Pie? It’s got crust and filling, yeah know?” He smirks.
I shake my head, “I know what pie is.”
“Do you want some or not?”
“You’re offering me pie?”
“Seriously, Greer, did someone drop you on your head as a baby? I asked a simple question.” He shakes his head. “Pumpkin or cherry?”
“Pumpkin,” I answer after a moment of hesitation.
He stands to his feet and crosses the diner. He stands in front of the waitress again. He orders our pie quickly before coming to sit down in front of me again. The girl behind the counter watches as he walks away.
Kaleb takes his seat with that usual smirk, “Now, what is part two of our assignment?”