I sit alone in my foods class waiting for Piper. Iggy still hasn’t shown up and I know it’s my fault. If he’d been here to stop me from floating this morning, Melody wouldn’t have had to bust in and save my dumbass—Iggy wouldn’t have had to ask me on a date to distract Piper.
Piper glides in the room, for a moment erasing my concern for Iggy. I smile at her, but she doesn’t return it. My gut clenches. She slides into her seat and pulls out her notebook.
“Hey.” My voice croaks from the dryness in my throat.
“Hey.” Hers freezes the air like a blast of wind in a blizzard.
So much for Hi, Z.
“Did you want to get together this weekend to work on any math?”
She turns to me, leaning her elbow on the table. Her face looks calm, but the moment our gazes connect the tempest raging in her head drives a spike of pain through mine.
“No thanks.” Her lips curve, but the smile doesn’t make it to her eyes. “Something else came up.”
“Uhm, well, yeah. Okay.” I rub my temple to ease the pressure.
“No big deal. I mean, math can wait.” She shrugs and sits back in her seat. “I’ve got tons to do for my project this weekend anyway.”
“If you’re sure. But let me know if I can help with… anything.”
She shrugs again and my heart sinks into my feet.
Damn this stupid magic. If it didn’t get in the way today, I would have asked Piper out. Right?
(Note to self: You lie worse than Dad.)
The rest of the class files in and take their seats. Blake walks down the aisle to Piper’s left, weaving between the tables and the students standing in his way or leaning against their black tables. He smiles at her and I smirk. He’s persistent, I’ll give him that. I check her reaction. Seeing Blake get ignored will ease the tension in my head.
But the smile she gives him has the opposite effect on me. Pressure explodes inside my skull.
Wide-eyed, Blake stops next to Piper, looking almost as shocked as I feel. “What’s up?”
“Nothing much.” She leans forward, angling herself to face him. “Hey, sorry I was rude yesterday. You know, first day back, didn’t want summer to end. Guess I was just in a bad mood.”
Even without reading her mind, I know that’s a lie. Piper thrives here. In some ways—much cooler ways—she’s a school geek like me.
Blake grins, and I don’t even bother trying to stop myself from ramming my mind into his, tearing at his thoughts—wishing I could do the same to his smirking face.
I knew she was into me. She probably regrets letting this moron sit with her.
Heat builds in my palms. I stuff my hands under my thighs to keep from levitating Blake across the room and out the second-story window.
“No big deal,” he says to Piper.
Our teacher rushes into the room. “Time to take your seats, ladies and gentlemen. Lot’s to do today. Mr. Bennington, in the back. Hurry up.”
Blake lifts then lowers his eyebrows. “See ya later?”
“Maybe.” Piper crosses her arms and leans back.
I stare at the side of her face, my heart slamming against my ribs. She peeks at me from the corner of her eye, meeting my gaze for just a second, then lifts her chin. A brief vision of Melody touching me this morning flashes from her mind to mine.
Panting, I squint my eyes against the lights that suddenly burn as bright as the sun. What the hell? Pressure builds in my head like someone stuck it in a vice and let the Hulk turn the handle. Even stronger is the almost irresistible urge to send something flying at Blake’s head.
My gaze is drawn to the knife block on the counter next to me. The handle of the large butcher’s knife jiggles.
(Note to self: This can’t be good. Get control dipshit!)
I squeeze my head with my hands and close my eyes, willing my mind to ignore the knives. The rattle of the metal tells me I’m failing.
“Are you okay?” Piper asks. I return her gaze but looking into her eyes ups the pressure.
No, I think I’m going crazy, but I don’t say anything. I meet her confused gaze and shake my head. Jumping from my seat, I grab my bag and race for the door.
“Mr. Mitchell, where are you going?”
Ignoring my teacher and the curious stares of my classmates, I bolt into the bathroom across the hall. I lean over the sink, panting and trying not to barf. The nausea, the pain—the desire to kill Blake—ease with each second until I’m left with shaking hands and chills of fear.
Fear of myself.
Pulling my phone from my pocket, I swipe the screen and call Iggy. He answers on the third ring. His greeting definitely doesn’t help me calm down.
“Dude, I’m going to kill you.” He groans. “What the hell are you doing fucking around with Melody?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Where the hell are you?” I ask.
“Trying to diffuse a bomb,” he snorts. “Apparently she wouldn’t stop talking about you and Ky thinks you’ve encouraged her. I told you, his instincts are whacked. I’ve been with him all morning convincing him not to come to school and tear you apart for moving in on his girlfriend.”
“Great.” He’ll eat me for sure this time. “I’m not moving in on Melody.”
“That’s what I told him.” Iggy’s breath sends static through the line. “So what’s up?”
“I don’t know.” My hands shake, and I almost drop my phone. Leaning back against the cold white tiled wall, I slide to the floor, resting my forehead in my free hand. “Damn, Iggy. I’m out of control.”
He laughs. “Did you pants Blake during gym and send his shorts into the rafters?”
“No. Worse. I almost levitated a knife at him in foods because he talked to Piper. I’m hiding in the bathroom.”
The roar of Iggy’s engine in the background fills the silence. “I’m on my way. Don’t do anything stupid. Get to Ms. A. Now.” He ends the call.
I lay my head back on the wall and close my eyes. Don’t do anything stupid. Right.
(Note to self: Too late.)
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